My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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More Tips about Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions Than You Could Want.

Champagne

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: More tips about making and keeping resolutions than you could want.

In 2009, the top three resolutions made by Americans were:
-Losing weight (20%)
-Quitting smoking (16%)
-Spending less (12%)

Did you make any of these resolutions on January 1, 2009? Did you keep them? Many people make and break the same resolution year after year. (To take just one example, I’ve made and broken the resolution to “Entertain more” for years. See below.) In fact, about 80% of resolution-makers abandon their resolutions by mid-February.

But one thing I’ve learned from my happiness project: keeping resolutions is a key to happiness. If you want to make a positive change in your life, you need to figure out what to resolve, and how to keep that resolution.

Because resolution-keeping has been so important to my own happiness project, I’ve written about it several times. So, to give you a boost as you launch your 2010 New Year’s resolutions, here are some of my favorite discussions about resolutions:

Five tips for planning effective New Year’s resolutions.

Twelve tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.

The resolutions NOT to make for your New Year’s resolutions.
(You’ll see that the person interviewed is clearly a “yes” resolver, as discussed in the second post above – in fact, it was her comment here that got me thinking about the distinction between “yes resolvers” and “no resolvers.”)

Should you have goals or resolutions?

A menu of resolutions for your consideration.

Six tips to hold yourself accountable for keeping your resolutions.
Accountability is the essential element for keeping resolutions.

How you, too, can copy Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin inspired the design of my Resolutions Chart, which turned out to be a key part of my happiness project. (If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com — write “resolutions chart” in the subject line.)

Why I stopped drinking alcohol (more or less).

Do you have trouble sticking to your resolutions? Turns out that it really does matter.

Why NOW is the time to start keeping your resolutions.

The movie “Twilight” inspires me to do a better job with some of my resolutions.
I have to admit, this is one of my all-time favorite posts that I’ve written.

Don’t try to keep that resolution.
In which I give up my longstanding resolution to “Entertain more.”

Don’t try to keep that resolution – Part II.
In which I realize that giving up the resolution to “Entertain more” actually allowed me to plan a party.

Feeling fired up for your 2010 resolutions? Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge, to make 2010 a happier year. Sign up here.

Also, check out the tools on the Happiness Project Toolbox. They’re designed to help you track your own happiness project.

Being happier can seem like an elusive, complicated goal, but by taking little steps, you can change your life for the happier. I am still amazed by what a difference my happiness project has made in my happiness.

* I just can’t resist posting a link to this review of my book on Communicatrix. As a writer, it’s tremendously gratifying to read the response from a reader who understands EXACTLY what you were trying to do!

* As I’m checking now, I’m #40 on the Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers list! Hooray!

* It’s Word-of-Mouth Day, when I gently encourage (or, you might think, pester) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:
– Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
– Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @gretchenrubin)
– Sign up for my free monthly newsletter (about 31,000 people get it)
Buy the book
– Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge to make 2010 a happier year
– Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update
– Watch the one-minute book video
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.