Jim Grootegoed is professional editor of OLP.

This is becoming my annual New Year’s Resolution article. First, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2018. Last year’s missive concentrated on business resolutions. This year I’d like to concentrate more on personal resolutions, which will also significantly affect your business success and relationships.

Each person who resolves on New Year’s Day to improve an aspect of their life that they dislike establishes a motivating force, one that helps those of us who are serious but need a push.

Various studies have shown that only from 8% to 20% of resolutions are actually kept, so make your resolution(s) realistic and achievable, and don’t make too many.

Resolutions are hard to keep because we all try to change a behavior pattern overnight. The key is to take it slow and steady. Fulfill the resolution, but do not overdo it, making sure not to quit. Your progress will be slower when proceeding in this fashion, but it will be easier to accomplish.

Some of the most common resolutions include losing weight, exercising more often, quitting smoking or drinking, saving money or learning something new. Other common resolutions include traveling more, giving back to the community and spending more time with family and loved ones.

I read about a couple resolutions in Forbes that I would have never considered. One is to smile more. This actually tends to make you happier and is reflected on people around you. Another was “Don’t commit to anything that you realistically cannot do.” Success breeds success, but failure has the same effect. A corollary would be to break down any process into smaller steps, progressing as you move along.

From Dear Abby: I will accept today for what it is. I will face reality, correcting what I can and accepting what I can’t. I will improve my mind by reading something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path. I will not speak ill of others, nor will I interrupt others when they’re speaking. I will take responsibility for my own actions.

. . . and a thousand more.


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