Making New Year's Resolutions That Work
by Susan Dunn

Making resolutions means resolving to do something, committing to do something. In Emotional Intelligence terms this is called Intentionality. It means saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. What are your intentions for your life this coming year? What do you intend to do to make this happen?

Here are some tips for making resolutions that WORK this year.

  1. Put your resolutions in writing.

    Show them to someone - spouse, friend, coach. Post them on the office wall, refrigerator and dashboard. Send a copy to your coach.

  2. Resolve to learn something new.

    Whatever your field, learning something new is the best way to keep yourself growing and on the competitive edge. Learn how to do your own website, learn how to create an ezine, learn a new language, take an accounting course, get an MBA. Do everything you can to increase your knowledge; it will make you more profitable, more marketable, and more desirable in today's market climate. Itís also key to Resilience in midlife.

  3. Increase your emotional intelligence.

    Chances are you're on top of the skills and knowledge in your field. If you're a doctor or therapist, you take the mandatory continuing education. If you're in business, you're adding an MBA or taking advantage of the great online and weekend degree opportunities. But are you increasing your emotional intelligence?

    Emotional Intelligence accounts more for your success and happiness than your IQ. It accounts for the majority of promotions and firings. Take an Internet course and get coaching in emotional intelligence. It crosses all categories and fields, benefiting both your work and personal life now and in the future.

    Check out the courses on my website.

  4. Make your last resolution -- TAKE ACTION!

    Writing down your resolutions will trigger your innate goal-accomplishment drives, but taking action is essential. Take action on every resolution within 30 days after writing them.

  5. Get organized.

    Use an Accountability System for your resolutions! Accountability Systems work. I use the Gooding Accountability System myself and for my clients. For most of us it's the initial organization and then tracking the follow-through. The more you've got going on, the more there is to keep track of. An Accountability System makes this easier for you to accomplish. Use one for your resolutions.

  6. You can make your resolutions general as long as you include incremental action steps as subpoints.

    If your list reads Lose Weight, Make More Money, and Find a Wife you're being so vague you're defeating the purpose. It isn't a WISH LIST, it's a list of things you intend to accomplish. Make that "Lose 20 lbs. by April 1 by exercising 30 minutes every day, eating less than 100 grams of fat a day, eliminating sweets" and whatever else will get you to your goal.

  7. Compare your list to last year's list.

    If it's the same, you're in trouble and you need to face up to it. Something isn't working for you, and if you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting. If you've had "Find a Career I Love" for 3 years in a row, deal with it. Either acknowledge you're not going to do it, and take it off your list, or marshal the forces you need to make it happen - get a coach, for instance. There's nothing more demoralizing than a goal you never achieve.

Making the right list of resolutions will make for a better New Year for you.

Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach ready to help you achieve your goals. Visit her on the web at and e-mail: to get started TODAY.

Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2003 by Susan Dunn. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading