New Year’s Resolutions

By David Spero | January 2, 2008 3:11 pm

I used to think that New Year’s resolutions were silly, and sometimes I still think that. A lot of them are so vague ("I will be nicer to people") or so big ("I will lose 40 pounds by March 15") that they could never work.

Making realistic resolutions
But if resolutions are realistic and specific, I think they can be useful. Last year, I resolved to be more fun and have more fun. But I didn’t make it specific and measurable, so I didn’t get very far with it. I tried for a while and then let it slide. Sound familiar?


So this year, I’m going to resolve on the same topic, but I’m going to make it measurable. I’m going to do one fun thing a day—have a fun conversation, read a funny book, or watch a humorous video. Maybe play a game with other people, or hang out with young children or animals. I would appreciate any other ideas you have to help me keep my resolution.

Health is a good topic for resolutions. For example:

I’m not saying these are all good ideas. But notice that they are specific and measurable. You may want to make your resolutions measurable too. That way, you can tell if you have done them or not.

Not always for health
Of course, resolutions don’t have to be health-related. For example, resolving to eat one meal a day with family may have health advantages, but it has other pluses too. Notice that you don’t have to include the whole family at one time. It could be different meals with different people.

Maybe you want to read more, or use the computer less, or learn to use it in the first place. As long as it is something you can do, and something you can measure, it could be a good resolution. Of course, there are bad resolutions too. “I will kick my dog twice a day” probably won’t do anyone much good.

So what are your resolutions going to be? Or do you think the whole thing is a bad idea? Let us know by commenting here. And please visit me at[2]. Maybe buy yourself one of my books for a New Year’s present?

Hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and have a Happy New Year!

  1. HbA1c:

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David Spero: David Spero has been a nurse for 32 years and has lived with multiple sclerosis for 25 years. He is author of two books: The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness (Hunter House 2002), and Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis – Who Gets It, Who Profits, and How to Stop It (New Society 2006). He writes for Diabetes Self-Management and Arthritis Self-Management magazines. He is a project director with New Health Partnerships: Improving care by Engaging Patients, a project of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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