4 Steps to Making Resolutions That Last

By February, 80 percent of New Year resolutions fail. Maybe it’s the dreary winter weather that’s killing our motivation, or maybe we were a little too ambitious with our goal-setting. No matter what the reason is for those failed resolutions, there are a few steps we can take to avoid being part of that 80 percent. Here are four ways I’m making sure my resolutions last this year:

1. Be flexible

People seem to either love or hate New Year resolutions. One objection that I hear from those who dislike them is, “What’s so special about January 1?” And actually, they have a valid point. Goal-setting can (and should) happen any time of the year, all year round. I don’t let this criticism change my desire for having a New Year’s resolution, but it does offer a different viewpoint for me. I’m encouraged to view the whole resolution concept in a creative way: I’m free to tweak my goals throughout the year. So, I’ll check in each month on my progress, and if I haven’t been doing as well as I’d like, I’ll use the new month to turn a page and start fresh.

2. Pick your word

If you’re on any social media networks, you’ll know that not all social media trends are worth doing. But here’s one that I believe is worth following: picking a word for the year. I love this exercise because it gives me the opportunity to intentionally bring a theme into my life. If you haven’t picked a word yet, it’s not too late! If you need a little motivation, there are plenty of resources out there, including this website that can generate a word for you.

3. Construct a creative framework for your resolution

Find the way that your brain works. Does your brain work in bullet points? Paragraphs? Numbers? Pictures? Mine works in lists and outlines, and I’m definitely not one for brevity. So here’s a little glimpse into my resolution framework:

Word of 2019: Intentional
Sub-word: Savor
Description & Action: Enjoy every moment. Don’t rush to the next. Be grateful for each opportunity.

Personal Resolutions
Be present with my family. Put the phone away and set limits. Create freedom to play.

Professional Resolutions
Approach work obligations with appreciation for the privilege. I don’t “have” to do XYZ, I “get” to it.

Spiritual Resolutions
Be in awe. Look for God’s hand in my life every day and realize that although I can’t see or fully understand his plan, I can enjoy the spiritual walk He invites me to. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

4. Garner accountability

The way to ensure you are held accountable for your resolution is to make it public (you now have permission to check in on me after this blog post!).

As soon as I began considering my hopes for 2019, I immediately reached out to my EDGE mentor. We have a meeting scheduled for her to check in, as she provides so much support in all areas of my life. She has also shared her experience with selecting words of the year and how it has impacted her. We agreed that she’ll be able to help me keep this focus throughout the year.

So how’s your 2019 going? I challenge you to take some time this February to evaluate the first twelfth of 2019, and intentionally reset with the same focus we felt at the end of 2018. Happy New Month!



Anne O’Brien is our EDGE|X Coordinator. Previously, she was the VP of Marketing & Communications at the Center for the Performing Arts. Anne’s experience with live events led her to want to create inspiration by gathering people together to celebrate ideas and create community. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, serving within her church’s mom group and daydreaming about vacations.


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