Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Count

Few of us make New Year’s resolutions anymore. This once nearly universal activity has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Even most of the people who do make resolutions don’t take them very seriously. They neither give them much thought or feel obligated to stick to them. They view resolutions as suggestions, not as the commitments they are.

On the other hand, many of us believe that making well-conceived resolutions, at the beginning of the new year or any other time, makes us better people and, more importantly, may even improve the world in which we live in a small way.

Try these six steps.

1. Think seriously about the changes you would like to make in your life, changes with potential to make a real impact. You might even want to write them down in order of their importance to you. Education is a good place to start thinking about improving yourself, as it can offer you personal growth, career advancement, and increased income. You can attend a local college or university, or enroll in a certificate program or degree program at an online college or university.

2. Be realistic about your level of self-discipline and commitment.

3. Resolve to do something, or stop doing something, that you believe will make you a better person and/or impact those you care about in a positive way. Again, additional education is a good choice for most people.

4. Promise yourself something you really want; more time off, a trip you’ve postponed for too long, or maybe the piano or art lessons you have always wanted.

5. Make a resolution to be nicer or more considerate, on an ongoing basis, to a friend or family member. Help out more around the house, be less critical of a family member, be more tolerant of a friend’s annoying habit, visit an elderly relative more often, or make other concrete efforts to be kinder to those in your life. You’ll benefit more than they do.

6. Select at least one charity with which to share your time, your money and/or your energy. You will find it very rewarding.

If you follow the suggestions above, your family, your friends, your community, and you will all reap the benefits.

Daniel Z. Kane is an educator, author, and website creator whose interests include accelerated online degree programs and online college graduate programs in mathematics and the sciences.

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