The secret to keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

Have you got your resolutions yet?  Time is a tickin’.  Only a few more hours until the start of the new year, and the new you.

I love a New Year’s.  It’s like rebooting your computer if it starts giving your trouble.  You wipe away what got you there and start fresh with a blank screen.

It’s a chance for us to take stock, and say to ourselves forgivingly, “Ok, after this last year, this is where I am, for better or for worse.  Now, here’s where I want to get to in the next year . . .”

And your resolutions act as the guide to help get you where you want to go.

So have you got yours yet?

If you don’t, and even if you do and are looking for a guaranteed way to make sure you accomplish them, try this tip:

Make your New Year’s Resolution specific.  In other words, don’t pick the outcome.  Pick the task.

Don’t say . . . “I want to get in better shape. ” How can you define that?  It’s too ambiguous to set your brain on absolute accomplishment.  Instead say, “I will go to go the gym three times a week for an hour each time.”

As long as that’s more than you’re going now, I guarantee you’ll be in better shape by the time 2014 rolls around.

Don’t say . . . “I want to save more money.”  Pick an amount you want in your bank account by the end of 2013.  Take the difference between that and what you have now, divide it by 12 and figure out what you have to save/make each month.  Or divide it by 52 and figure out what you have to save each week, and then say, “I want to make/save $X each week.”

And since this is a theater blog after all . . .

Don’t say . . . “I want to write a play.”  Ok, we know you want to write a play.  And that is a good resolution.  But what if you chunk that down in a more specific and bite sized, to-do like task that’s easier for you and your brain to see yourself accomplish like, “I will write 10 pages of my play a week.”  Uh, in case any of you failed algebra, that’s 520 pages by the end of this year.  And unless you’re writing the sequel to August Osage County, then I’d bet you’d have written two of three plays before you know it.

So when you set your resolutions, make ’em specific.  Then write ’em down and put them where you can see them everyday.

Doing so, will make them much more achievable.  Guaranteed.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.