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Expert Feature: We’ve All Been Doing New Year’s Resolutions Wrong. Here’s How To Fix Them.

If I showed you a new way that you could make a resolution – that would really work – would you actually follow it?

If your answer is, “Yes,” then scroll down and keep reading.

If your answer is, “No,” then you might as well not waste your time reading this.

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how to make a new year's resolution for 2015, weight loss tips

Three Embarrassing Mistakes

A book called Oops: The Book of Blunders by Mercer Mayer reveals some pretty embarrassing mistakes.
Here are three of them:

1. When a drum major tossed his baton in Ventura, California, it hit two 4000-volt power lines, blacking out a ten-block area and putting a radio station off the air. The baton melted.

2. A bank robber in Los Angeles told the clerk not to give him cash, but to deposit the money to his checking account.

3. On his first assignment for a Chicago newspaper, a rookie reporter drove a company car to a car-crushing plant, parked in the wrong spot, and returned from interviewing the manager just in time to see the vehicle being compacted into scrap metal.


Mistake Aren’t Our Problem

We all make mistakes. They’re nothing to be ashamed of.

They’re inevitable.

In and of themselves they’re not a problem.

But mistakes do become a problem when:

1. We aren’t aware of our mistakes

2. We keep making the same mistakes 


We’ve All Been Doing New Year’s Resolutions Wrong

I hate to tell you this, but I think we’ve all been making a big mistake when it comes to making resolutions.

And I believe this mistake is the main reason that so many of our New Year’s resolutions fail.

If we don’t realize our mistake in this area, and we continue to make resolutions the wrong way, they’ll continue to fail us.

Let me explain.


The word “resolve” means to “decide firmly on a course of action.”

The word “resolution” means “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

I want you to notice two things about those definitions:

1. Resolutions are decisions that are solid or unchanging.

2. They are focused on actions.

That means that a resolution is an unchanging decision about an action.

Not only that, a resolution can never be a one-time decision. By definition it’s a continual decision.


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

Now let’s look at what the top 10 New Year’s Eve resolutions usually are according to


  1. Lose Weight and Get Fit
  2. Quit Smoking
  3. Learn Something New
  4. Eat Healthier and Diet
  5. Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  6. Spend More Time with Family
  7. Travel to New Places
  8. Be Less Stressed
  9. Volunteer
  10. Drink Less

The problem with all of these typical resolutions is that they are descriptions that are focused on end results.

They describe “what” we want to do, but not “how” we’re going to do it.


  • How can you make a firm decision about a description?
  • How can make a firm decision about an end result?

That’s why we can’t keep them.

You can only be firm or resolute about clear, precise actions, not descriptions or results.

And  don’t forget this. The above resolutions all they tend to be decisions we make one-time, at the beginning of the year. 

One-time decisions aren’t resolutions. They are wishes or hopes.

That’s why our usual resolutions have never worked.

We’ve being doing them the wrong way the whole time.


A New Way to Make New Year’s Resolutions

In order to make resolutions that no longer fail us, we need to answer the “how” question.

Instead of  making a resolution that you want to “lose weight”, you should instead answer the “how” question.

HOW do plan on losing weight?  You need to be clear about the action(s) you’ll take.

Instead of making a resolution that you want to “quit smoking”, you need to answer the “how” question.

How do you plan on quitting? You, again, need to be clear about the action(s) you’ll take.

Once you answer these questions, then you’ve taken a huge leap forward in making New Year’s resolutions that actually work.


Here Are the 10 Steps to Take

If you’re ready, then I’d encourage you to read my second blog post: 10-Step System for Making Effective New Year’s Resolutions.

Photo by Alan Cleaver


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About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.