New Year’s Resolutions and How to Tackle Them

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Want to be a better person or have a better marriage in 2012? Some fascinating research may help you succeed. It sounds too simple to be true, but several studies have come to this same conclusion: it works!
Think about what usually gets in the way of what you resolve to do. Now write down some very specific if-then solutions to these distractions. For example,

  • If we have not had sex for four days running, then at noon I will start preparing myself to feel, look, smell, and act sexy tonight.
  • If my husband encourages me to eat something that will sabotage my weight loss plans, then I will say to him, “I appreciate your efforts to increase my enjoyment, and tonight I want to enjoy it vicariously, so please make it sound yummy as you eat it.”
  • If I feel myself getting upset by my wife’s harsh words, then I will Assume Love right away and see if there might be a loving explanation for them that will let them roll right off me.
  • When I pass the VFW hall on my way home, then I will begin thinking of ways to make a positive, upbeat, loving entrance when I get home, instead of crashing first.

For more on how to use if-then planning, see these two articles by Heidi Grant Halvorson:
Want a Simple Way to Double or Triple Your Own Productivity? Here’s How.
Be Careful What You Plan For

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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  • I know this article’s from the wife’s perspective, but husbands can benefit from that advice as well. I like making resolutions for each new year. I’m currently deciding which resolution to make for 2012. Typically, if I make one or two resolutions, I can keep them. It’s when I start making a huge list of resolutions that I fail to keep any of them.

By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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