It's that time again to think about [New Year's resolutions]! This fine tradition dates back 4000 years to early Babylonians, with the most popular resolution back then was to return borrowed farm equipment.
Resolutions can be to work toward a specific goal, start doing something, or change your habits to do something more often, or less often, than last year. Jim Collins from 37Signals suggests a [Stop Doing List]. Colin Beavan (aka [No Impact Man]) took this idea to the extreme, giving up a year of electricity, coffee and toilet paper, and a bunch of other things, in an effort to minimize his environmental impact.
Most people just choose resolutions from existing lists. Reader's Digest offers their [6 step approach]. [Popular resolutions] include the desire to lose weight, get fit and quit smoking. There were suggestions to improve [mind and spirit], while others focused on [your career]. For amusement, here were [10 suggestions from College Candy], and some [resolutions based on lessons learned from failed politicians]. Lastly, on The Happiness Project blog, fellow blogger Gretchen Rubin offers [more tips about making and keeping resolutions].
Let's review how well I kept [my 2009 resolutions]:
Not everybody believes in New Year's resolutions. Happy Lists gives [ten reasons not to make resolutions this year]. Perhaps [willpower is over-rated]. Another article explained [why financial resolutions fail]. Well, you can [blame it on the brain], the prefrontal cortex specifically, for not being designed to handle the added mental stress of so many resolutions. Perhaps you should only make resolutions that are [fun to keep], or limit yourself to just making [one resolution].
Should people make their resolutions public? Derek Sivers cites research indicating that [announcing your plans makes you less motivated] to complete them. Given the long waits we saw between when storage vendors like EMC announce some new feature to when it is actually delivered, there might be a lot of truth to that. So, this year, I will do things differently and NOT make public any New Year's resolutions for 2010.