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Do New Year’s Resolutions Work? 5 Steps to Ensure Success of Your Resolutions

It’s the beginning of the new year, and people usually set their new resolutions.

I am curious:  Have you set your resolutions? And with either answer, Why? What do you generally believe about resolutions? Is it a good practice? Do they come true? Have you personally had success with setting resolutions and following through?

Last year, I watched a new Hallmark movie Sealed with the List. It’s cute and upbeat, and I recommend it to all Hallmark movie fans. In this article, I used this movie as a reference point on resolutions.

In the next two articles (this and the following one), I will explain what makes resolutions successful, what makes them fail, and the biggest requirement that everyone must fulfill to ensure every resolution is a winner.

In Sealed with the List, the main character Carley Kincaid with the help and encouragement of her ex-coworker Whyatt set out to fulfill all her resolutions in one month:  December.   There is no time to waste, isn’t it?

Let’s talk about several factors from the movie that ensured Carley’s success.


  1. Short-term, definite timing. Carley only has one month to finish all her resolutions. If you set a definite, preferably short-term timing, then you are most likely to take immediate action and make your resolution happen.

One of my clients has never done green juice fast before. So we set out to do the fast together. First, she set her fast for 10 days, then 14 days, and we finished the fast on the 40th day.  I was going for 40 days from the get-go because I was more experienced. Since she didn’t have any experience, she started with 10 days. A definite time frame. Then she continued for another four days, then for another 10, until she was able to complete the full term of 40 days, step by step. Because she would set only 10 days, which was definite timing, she was able to accomplish her resolution of green juice fasting for 40 days.

Setting a short-term, definite timing helps make your resolution successful.

Have you ever set a type of resolution with a specific timing and because of that you finished your resolution successfully?

  1. Decide on a specific incentive as a reward for fulfilling your resolution.

When Carley tried to just run regularly, it ended up in a disaster. But when she decided that she wanted to exercise because she wanted to participate in a race, then she accomplished both:  her resolution to take up running, and as a reward, she won the race.

Brides often use losing weight resolution with a special incentive: to fit into a smaller wedding dress. It’s a short-term losing weight with a special reward:  to be able to fit into the wedding dress.

Sometimes, the circumstances present us with unplanned incentives that help us with our resolutions. Here is my example:  I decided to do a 90-day green juice fast. It happened that when I decided to do it, at the end of my 90 days, I was scheduled to speak in another state (in person). So it was my timing incentive to do the fast and to persevere to the end until my speaking engagement came. This great incentive worked for me.

Setting a finishing incentive helps make your resolution successful.

  1. Find an enthusiastic friend or a family member to provide accountability and support.

Carley didn’t even like Whyatt in the beginning, but she needed his help. So she secured his support, and in return, she promised to support Whyatt. Her plan worked.

Whyatt has been with Carley every step of the way, supporting, cheering her up, and holding her hand on her resolution journey. In the end, Carley admitted to Whyatt that without him she wouldn’t be able to accomplish what she had done with Whyatt’s help.

So if you set up a resolution and enlist a spouse, a friend, or a mentor to keep you accountable, your resolution will more likely to succeed.

However, I believe there is one condition. You cannot make just anyone to help you. They have to agree and do it with enthusiasm. The best if both of both involved in something, and you encourage each other.

One of my clients decided to start walking daily. To her delight and surprise, her husband decided to join her in her walks. Now they wait for each other to walk, and they cannot miss a walk because the other one is standing there ready to go.  They discuss different topics on the way and that makes their walking even more pleasant.

Receiving enthusiastic voluntary accountability and support will make you more likely to succeed

  1. Set realistic resolutions.

Carley didn’t decide to read every book in her life from cover to cover, just one book. But she was reading a very thick book, thus setting herself up for failure. Whyatt suggested a better solution:  Nutcracker, a children’s book. Short and sweet.  The resolution was done in a few minutes as Carley read the book to the children.

Set a resolution that is realistic for you to achieve. And often, it means eating an elephant bite by bite. Divide your resolution into chunks and tackle one chunk at a time.

I follow my own advice when I need to learn new software in my business (which happens quite often), such as my CRM Active Campaign. I start with tags and segmentation. I proceed with automations. Then I move on to CRM itself.

Step-by-step, one chunk at a time will bring you more success and confidence.

  1. Some resolutions require fast action when an opportunity presents itself.

Carley wanted to quit her job. It was a brave step, and she had to act on the spot when she saw an opportunity.

In other words, if you decide to set a very definite short-term resolution, you just need to jump into action when an opportunity shows up and do it.

Usually, it’s not that easy. Quitting a job is not always easy, but if you set your intention, there is no right time. You just have to do it bravely.

Here is a reminder: We are never alone. The gates usually open for us without us even realizing that the higher power is watching, supporting, and helping us along the way.

When you set an intention or a resolution, usually, if you are ready for it internally, the higher power will move mountains to open the way for you. But you still have to act fast and with a decision.

Taking fast action when an opportunity presents itself will make your resolution successful.
Here is an official Hallmark movie trailer for Sealed With the List.

In my next article, I will talk about why resolutions often fail, and I will share the most important requirement everyone must meet to make his or her resolutions a success.

In Divine Light,
Irina Baker

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