Of course it’s that time of the year again, when we are usually told to make resolutions for things we’ll start doing or stop doing that year.

But does it really work that way?

Do we really keep those resolutions and stick to them all year — and accomplish all we promised to?

If you’ve set New Year’s resolutions in the past and failed, don’t worry, it’s normal. You’ll probably fail in the ones you’ve set this year.

Nah, I ain’t cursing (not one to be so negative — not even early in the year). Just stating facts.

Fact is: (According to U.S. News & World Report) 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

That’s a WOW stat!

So what’s the essence of setting or making new year resolutions when they would fail in just 2 months?

What To Do Instead?

Don’t make the usual resolutions.

Replace your long list of resolutions with a personal watchword that will guide your life for the year.

This makes your life easier and reduces the pressures that come with a long list.

Mine last year was “happen to life”…

Well, looking at how my past year went, I indeed tried to “happen to life”, but not as well as I wish I did.

My word for this year is simply “Fun”, and betcha I’ll try harder this time!

What do I mean Fun?

Inspired by Sir Richard Branson, I’ve decided that Fun would be my biggest consideration in making decisions this year.

If a business opportunity doesn’t sound like fun, I’ll pass. If any work I’m doing doesn’t seem like fun, I outsource it. If my attendance of an event or a meeting doesn’t promise fun, I avoid it.

It’s that simple!

Melinda Gates does same: one word for each year. Last year (2018) was Grace.

She was recorded to say: “When I was upset or distressed, I whispered it to myself: ‘Grace’.”

Your own watchword could be anything that prevented you from having a fulfilling past year.

For example, if you want to lose weight this year and maybe want to exercise more and also start a daily gratitude journal, a good watchword might be “discipline”.

This is a great encompassing watchword, since you’ll need to be disciplined to achieve those and almost any other goals.

So when you begin to falter at a thing, the only word that comes to your mind is discipline. And then you’re forced to adjust and work harder: nobody likes to think they lack discipline.

Next, Make A List of Goals: Things You Actually Wanna Do

After you’ve made a one-word/one-phrase resolution, make a list of goals for the year.

Goals are different from resolutions. Don’t mix them up.

While a resolution can be: “I’ll pray more this year”, a goal can be: “Pray for 30 minutes every morning.”

Goals are specific ambitions or desired results; resolutions are decisions to do or be something — or not do or be. Goals solidify your resolutions!

Make your goals a balance of “big dreams” and “reality”.

Nothing bad in starting small.

For example, if you didn’t visit any country last year, don’t make it a goal to visit 10 countries this year (when you don’t even have a passport yet). It’s possible, but might put you under unnecessary pressure.

So while your resolution should be short and singular, your goals can be a long list. Not too long to become unrealistic though.

Just think of areas of your life you need to improve on and set goals for each of them.

Goals don’t always have to be “I will”; they can also be “I won’t”.

Write ’em Down!

Make sure you write down your goals and put them where you can easily see them daily.

Next, Make Plans

Then make sure you write out plans for accomplishing each goal. At least 3 things you’ll do towards achieving each goal. Steps you have to take to succeed.

A goal without definite plans and steps is simply a daydream.

Put a timeline to each goal, plan or step…or you’ll just be playing.

Also have as an accountability partner someone you look up to and can’t afford to disappoint. Share your goals and plans with them so that you won’t want to NOT achieve them or follow through.

Fill them in on everything you do on your way to achieving your goals.

Finally, TAKE ACTION!!

Take those steps; don’t just write them down.

Work your ass off!

Work doesn’t kill; it makes you a better person, even if you fail.

Don’t even be afraid of failing. There’s hardly any successful person that doesn’t also have failure stories. (But NO, it’s the sweet success stories the world would focus on.)

Most Importantly, Daily To-Do Lists

Don’t ever start any day without a To-Do List for the day. Seriously, don’t! They help you take the very important steps.

It might not seem like a big deal to you, until you give it a try.

You’ll be surprised how much stuff you accomplish every day.

To get the best out of your To-Do List, make use of the good old pen and paper. Not your smartphone or tab (not that they wouldn’t work too, especially if you have apps that’d help you stick to them).

As you go through your day and complete each task, check such task off.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure everything on your list is checked off.

Sometimes you suddenly realize you haven’t even done half of your list and the day is almost over: that gives you a nice kick in the butt and you just find yourself picking up good speed.

Even though minor things like “call Titi” should definitely be included in your list, make sure it’s not too long. Start the list with your most important tasks for the day, but (as I learnt from David Allen of Getting Things Done), quickly do the ones that would take you just a few minutes to execute or complete.

That would help you run through your list fast, and give you the feeling of accomplishment early — which would in turn boost your ginger and productivity for the day.


  • Make a one-word/phrase resolution for the whole year (that one thing that’ll make you a better person overall)
  • Make a list of goals (or desired accomplishments) for the year, especially those that will help you stick to your resolution — write them down somewhere
  • Break your goals down into definite plans and steps — write those down too
  • Break those steps into smaller daily to-do lists
  • Work your ass off!
  • Get an accountability partner or mentor to show your goals and plans to, and also report your progress to

What do you think about today’s post? What else would you add to this list? Let’s continue talking in the comments 😉

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