Balanced Life -- More Tips About Making And Keeping New Year's Resolutions

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011


Every Wednesday is Tip Day.

This Wednesday: More tips about making and keeping resolutions than you could want.

In 2009, the top three resolutions made by Americans were:

  • Losing weight (20 percent)
  • Quitting smoking (16 percent)
  • Spending less (12 percent)

Did you make any of these resolutions on January 1, 2009? Did you keep them? Many people make and break the same resolution year after year. (To take just one example, I've made and broken the resolution to "Entertain more" for years. See below.) In fact, about 80 percent of resolution-makers abandon their resolutions by mid-February.

But one thing I've learned from my happiness project: keeping resolutions is a key to happiness. If you want to make a positive change in your life, you need to figure out what to resolve, and how to keep that resolution.

Because resolution-keeping has been so important to my own happiness project, I've written about it several times. So, to give you a boost as you launch your 2010 New Year's resolutions, here are some of my favorite discussions about resolutions:

(You'll see that the person interviewed is clearly a "yes" resolver, as discussed in the second post above - in fact, it was her comment here that got me thinking about the distinction between "yes resolvers" and "no resolvers.")

Accountability is the essential element for keeping resolutions.

Benjamin Franklin inspired the design of my Resolutions Chart, which turned out to be a key part of my happiness project. (If you'd like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, email me at grubin, then the "at" sign, then gretchenrubin dot com -- write "resolutions chart" in the subject line.)

I have to admit, this is one of my all-time favorite posts that I've written.

In which I give up my longstanding resolution to "Entertain more."

In which I realize that giving up the resolution to "Entertain more" actually allowed me to plan a party.

Feeling fired up for your 2010 resolutions? Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge, to make 2010 a happier year. Sign up here.

Also, check out the tools on the Happiness Project Toolbox. They're designed to help you track your own happiness project.

Being happier can seem like an elusive, complicated goal, but by taking little steps, you can change your life for the happier. I am still amazed by what a difference my happiness project has made in my happiness.

* I just can't resist posting a link to this review of my book on Communicatrix. As a writer, it's tremendously gratifying to read the response from a reader who understands EXACTLY what you were trying to do!

* As I'm checking now, I'm #40 on the Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers list! Hooray!

* It's Word-of-Mouth Day, when I gently encourage (or, you might think, pester) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:

-- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested

-- Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @gretchenrubin)

-- Sign up for my free monthly newsletter (about 31,000 people get it)

-- Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge to make 2010 a happier year

-- Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update

-- Watch the one-minute book video

Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.