Like every year, I am setting a few New Year’s resolutions.  In 2012, I actually did pretty well with keeping my resolutions.  I had set just a handful, including to take vitamins and to listen better.

What I’ve learned about making good resolutions that I’ll actually achieve:

1. Choose few enough that I can remember them all, and work on them relatively simultaneously.  Too many or too hard and I have to focus on one at a time, or it takes too much concentration to be sustainable.  I made exactly three resolutions last year, and I chose three this year too.

2. Get an early win.  With my 2012 resolutions, I had one early success, which motivated me (a lot) to stay on track with the others.

3. Design an approach to success.  For example, with my resolution to take vitamins, I got over myself enough to get gummy vitamins (yes, they sell gummy vitamins for adults too).  They taste really good, so I actually eat them every day.  They don’t have quite the level of nutritional value that other vitamins do, but I’d already failed at taking those every day, and these I actually take.

4.  Choose the right level for where I am right now.  Just like in yoga asana, choosing the right level is one of the most important pieces to making resolutions you’ll succeed with.  For me, if I aim too high, the smallest things can set me off course.  Less commonly (for me personally), I could set the bar too low and and hold myself back.  My 2012 resolutions were flexible enough that an occasional screw-up didn’t throw me majorly off course.  And there were easy opportunities to work on my resolutions in my daily life, as it is right now.  For example, listening better – I have opportunities all day every day to listen better, so if I notice I’m not listening well, I can just recommit and try again.

I’ve set my three 2013 resolutions, and am excited about how this year will turn out.  Unlike in the past few years, I have no major life events anticipated this year.  As my beloved said yesterday, 2013 is about continuing and expanding on our path; just cultivating more of the good stuff we have now.

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