The Resolution Secret

The Resolution Secret

New Year’s resolutions kind of get a bad rap. Only 9% of people achieve their New Year’s goals, according to University of Scranton research, and many people avoid making resolutions for fear of letting themselves down or experiencing failure.

So, what is the secret? How do you make a resolution and actually keep it? Do you need to learn superhuman self-discipline? Hire a life coach? Get an accountability partner?

I don’t think there is one sure way to keep a resolution, but I do have some strategies for making it a LOT more likely that you will feel successful come December 31, 2018!


1. Prepare yourself for failure.

That’s right. You need to expect yourself to not stick to your resolution 100% of the time. Adopt an 80% standard, and consider your resolution met if you stick to your new goal more often than not. For example, if your goal is to eliminate added sugars, make an effort to say no to sweets more than you usually do, but don’t cut them out completely. Often times we give up on a resolution after a moment or period of weakness. If you stop seeing these times as failures and start seeing them as a normal part of being a human, you will be much more likely to get back on track. If your resolution is to keep your car clean, don’t give up just because it gets really messy a few times! Simply clean it back out and consider your ability to refocus yourself a big success!


2. Look inward.

Think about choosing a resolution for your heart, mind and soul as opposed to something that affects your physical world. We often resolve to improve our homes, bodies or financial situations, but I think many of us could see bigger improvements in our lives by resolving to change the way we treat ourselves or others! Here are some ideas to consider:

Resolve to not gossip.
Resolve to make more time for self care.
Resolve to nurture a particular friendship or relationship.
Resolve to be more affirming of others.
Resolve to be more honest.

Again, holding yourself to an 80% standard is important here. Don’t give up on your resolution just because you aren’t sticking to it perfectly! Nobody can be honest 100% of the time.


3. Addition not subtraction.

I love the idea of adding in as opposed to taking away. So often our resolutions require us to exercise a lot of self control or deprive ourselves of something we love. Here are some resolution ideas that are based on the concept of adding instead of taking away.

Resolve to eat more vegetables.
Resolve to go on more dates with your spouse.
Resolve to learn a new skill.
Resolve to take more pictures of your family.
Resolve to try more restaurants in your city.


4. One and done.

We often think of a resolution as a goal that requires 365 days of dedication in order to be met, but this doesn’t have to be true. Consider going with something that would improve your life but can be completed at once and then checked off. When we first moved into our Nashville home, our living room was in pretty bad shape because of our super old couch that really needed to be replaced. We lived with a couch we disliked for 6 months without doing anything about it because selling the old one online, arranging pickup and carving out the time to shop for a new one seemed a bit overwhelming and kept getting put off. Because of this, I decided to make buying a new couch my resolution for that year!

When everyone else was stocking up on whole foods, buying gym memberships, cleaning out their closets or creating budgets, I was vacuuming my couch, listing it online and spending a couple of Saturdays shopping for a new one! This was a pretty easy resolution to achieve and yet not a super easy everyday task. By choosing to make it my resolution, I put a bit more focus on it and was able to get something in my life that needed to be done taken care of! Does a one-time resolution appeal to you? If so, here are some ideas to consider:

Resolve to take a family vacation.
Resolve to change your hairstyle or hair color.
Resolve to replace an outdated item in your home.
Resolve to go on a weekend trip with your spouse.
Resolve to donate unused items from one room or closet.


So, what is my resolution going to be this year? I haven’t decided, but I’m considering going with not gossiping because I feel like negative words have been creeping into my conversations lately. What about you? I’d love to hear what resolution you pick.


Hi there! I’m Katy Allen, founder of Artful Agenda! I’m passionate about joy-filled and productive living and have created the ultimate 2018 “best-life” guide to help you make it happen! With tips for organization, simplifying, intentional living and more—it’s everything you need to get inspired for the year ahead! Join The Artful Insider list to get your FREE guide today!

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  • Amanda Mayes
    Posted at 18:45h, 27 December

    These suggestions are all very good.
    I love that you give examples from your life. It makes it more honest and personal.

  • Kristen Bradshaw
    Posted at 04:47h, 29 December

    I love your thoughts on looking and aiming for 80%. Two years ago I resolved to judge others less. I still falter of course, but it helps me to know it’s an ongoing resolution. I may never fully master it but I will get better each year I try.

  • Sherrie Richey
    Posted at 04:02h, 30 December

    Love these ideas! Journaling my successes is a resolution that works as well. Then at the end of the year, you h e encouragement for next year!

  • Becca Portades
    Posted at 05:03h, 04 January

    Great ideas Katy!! I like the idea of trying more restaurants within my city & nurturing a relationship., think I will add those to my my resolution which was taking better care of myself this year, decluttering & distressing an old coffee table in my loft. 😉
    Happy New Year!!

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  • pillole per capelli
    Posted at 00:06h, 26 October

    Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!