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Happiness Tip: Make a Resolution

This year, skip the New Year’s diet and do something fun.

I do understand why New Year’s resolutions don’t make a lot of people happy: They can be a source of failure, year after year. Folks often pick resolutions that are inherently unrewarding, that necessitate relentless hard work, or that remind them of their mortality in a way that makes them feel small instead of grateful. I know because I’ve made all of those mistakes.

But now? I firmly believe that New Year’s resolutions can be a lasting source of happiness. Personally, I use them to transform myself in small increments, taking turtle steps toward new habits. I begin slowly around the winter solstice, and inch myself toward a newer, better self. By spring, my new habits have taken hold, and the green leaves of growth unfurl.

What are you resolving for the New Year?  Is it something that will make you happier? (I write about my favorite happiness-inducing resolutions here, on my my Greater Good blog.) Inspire others by sharing your resolutions below.

Take Action: Join Our Resolutions Group — Free! Over the years I’ve learned a lot of tricks for successfully keeping New Year’s resolutions. And in the last three years, the science around willpower and habits has made great advancements, which helps a lot. To share all I’ve learned, I’ve created this online course about making and keeping great New Year’s resolutions. Sign up now; it’s free for a limited time only.

Cheers to making 2014 the BEST YEAR YET!


  1. Johanna says:

    Rather than lose weight, get in shape, I want to resolve to be grateful and practice gratitude each day. Appreciating what I do have, gives me more joy than wishing for improvements. Taking some time to nurture myself, seems the best I can do – honoring this life I have. Also allowing some pause before reacting and listening, really listening, without interjecting my opinion, allows for more spaciousness in my relationships with friends and family and strangers. I resolve to practice this way.

  2. pmsmom says:

    I plan to spend more time talking with my mom instead of what I do now, which is sit next to her but scrolling up and down on my smartphone, basically ignoring her. I will not have her forever, and I am just wasting time looking at my phone.

  3. Mariposa says:

    I decided this year to spend more time with family. I want to try to have weekly dinners or lunches or meet for drinks (tea, coffee, or shakes). I hope to especially include nephews, nieces who will soon be off to college and starting their own lives.

    • This is a great resolution — think about ways that you can make seeing your family a habit, or routine – e.g., Sunday night dinners, a Wednesday tea, etc. So often scheduling becomes the hang up.

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