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We all do it: Resolve to improve this or that on Jan. 1 and throw in the towel by the 30th. So this year, make a resolution to stick to your resolutions until you accomplish what you set out to do. Here’s a plan for making 2012 the year you fulfill all of my new year’s resolutions. Maybe it will work for you. 

  1. Write your resolutions down. Show them to your family. Enlist their support to help you make them happen. Post your list someplace where you’ll see it every day, like on the refrigerator.
  2. Make them specific. Instead of saying, “I’m going to save water around the house this year,” say: “I’m going to follow the city’s guidelines for watering my landscaping so I’m not overwatering.”
  3. Resolve to keep a few resolutions, not a million. You’ll have better luck doing a few things. A list that’s too long can feel overwhelming and prevent you from getting started.
  4. Start right away. If you resolve to paint your house, buy the paint today. If you resolve to get a home inspection, make an appointment with an inspector this week.
  5. Break your list of resolutions into manageable chunks. I like to break my list into monthly tasks—just two or three at a time.
  6. Choose attainable goals. Can you really re-roof your house yourself? A better resolution might be to hire a roofing professional ( to give you an estimate for a new roof.
  7. Forget those perennial resolutions that you never keep. If you promise yourself to clean out the garage year after year and always break that promise, cross it off your list. You’re not going to do it this year, either. An alternative: Resolve to remove old paint cans from the garage on your community’s hazardous waste disposal day.
  8. Be flexible. Don’t beat yourself up if it turns out you can’t honor all of your resolutions yourself. Consider enlisting the help of your family, neighborhood kids or professional contractors to get the job done.
  9. Reward yourself every time you complete one of the jobs on your list. If, after three months, you’ve stuck to your resolve to change your HVAC filter every month, treat yourself to that new tool you’ve had your eye on.
  10. Consider your resolutions a year-round commitment. Don’t try to do everything in January. Early in the year, start getting into the habit of spending some time every week working on the home improvement projects on your list. Those half-hours and hours will add up to a productive year and a list of resolutions that you have kept—for a change!


  • Sanderson Ford

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