Monday, January 1, 2018

4 Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions by Melinda Curtis

Happy New Year!!!

Today, some people are making resolutions for the new year. Whether you chose a resolution as part of party small talk last night or you have a resolution in mind that will make your life better, here are 4 ways to help you make that resolution stick.

1. Take Aim at What You Want to Achieve
If you're serious about doing something different this year, you need to define your goal. Write it down on something you see every day. Write it on something bright and colorful. Write it on a Post-It note and stick it on your computer screen.

Don't have a resolution in mind? How about Be Kinder?

2. Set a Minimum Threshold
Break down achieving that goal to a daily activity. Write that beneath your goal.

  • Want to lose weight? Add "eat a serving of salad every day" to your to-do list.
  • Want to go to the gym more often? Add "go to gym either Monday or Tuesday AND either Wednesday or Thursday AND Saturday."
  • Want to write more words? Add "get up 15 minutes earlier and write 2 paragraphs before 6 am."
  • Want to be kinder? Add "compliment someone before 9 am every day."

You get the idea. Come up with small ways to chip away at what you want in 2018.

3. What are the stakes of failing?
As a writer, I give characters stakes of failing to achieve their goals. It makes sense that resolutions aren't worth sticking to if there isn't a downside to slacking. Trust me, I've blown off more resolutions than I care to count. Here are some stakes for the most popular resolutions (excuse some of the hard truths I've made up):


  • Why lose weight? Maybe that's because: I don't want to develop diabetes like my Uncle Arthur.
  • Why work out more often? Maybe because: My waistband is getting tight and I love my wardrobe.
  • Why write more words? Maybe because: I only had one book out last year. Or I want to submit my book to Harlequin by the end of the year.
  • Why be kinder? Maybe because: The world is so judgmental and kindness has a ripple effect.
Gosh, some of those stakes can seem a little harsh, perhaps even scary. But if you don't think in terms of what you have to lose, it's easy to toss that resolution aside until next New Year's Eve.

4. Create a Supportive Environment

Tell someone you know will be supportive what your resolution is. Ask them to check in with you in the next 10-20 days to make sure you're on track. Peer pressure does keep you honest when it comes to achieving those goals.

On the other hand, shed those people and places who aren't supportive. I'm not saying vow never to talk to cranky Aunt Agnes ever again. But don't give her the power to say, "You'll never do that." You'd be amazed at what people can do with the right attitude.

Do you have any advice for those resolution setters out there? If so, I'd love to hear it.


Melinda Curtis is an award-winning, USA Today bestseller of over 40 romances. She writes sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, sweet romantic comedies and sexy contemporary sports romances. Sign up for her non-spammy newsletter HERE to receive free reads, and maybe a positive affirmation or two.

10 comments:

  1. Great ideas, Mel. I think we all need to make kindness a touchstone this year--and maybe every year. Happy New Year!

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  2. Melinda, I love the positive slant you put on the resolutions. I especially like the one about giving compliments and being kind. Hope you don't mind if I steal it :)

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  3. All very good tips. Wishing you and yours the best in 2018.

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  4. These are good, clear motivating tips for a new year, Melinda. Thank you! Happy 2018!

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  5. Happy New Year everyone. I like this approach to setting goals--especially because the reasons don't have to be complicated. I do like my clothes, so I better work a little harder to make sure they'll fit when 2019 rolls around. Nothing complex about that. I love creating goals this time of year! Thanks for the post.

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  6. Happy New Year Heartwarmers! I really like the be kinder goal. It is so needed in our culture. And I so identify with the clothes fitting thingy. BTW, you goals look kind of like mine. :-)

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  7. Great advice. I like kindness as a goal.

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  8. Great post Melinda! I love breaking things down into baby steps. I hate claiming I have resolutions, because I usually break them in no time. But I do have a lot of goals for this year and with this group of supportive authors, I have no doubt we'll all accomplish them!

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