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Resolutions of the old year: Did you succeed?

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Flickr Photo/brian.abeling (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/
Take time to celebrate resolutions old and new

'Tis the season to think about New Year's resolutions. But we're less interested in the one you made on Monday than the ones that you made for 2017. Did you fail? Or do you have a success story? Jeannie Yandel and Bill Radke shared their own resolutions and heard from callers. 

Bill failed at learning to comfortably swim 10 laps, but it's not all bad! Jeannie was entirely successful in her resolve to sing "Panama" at karaoke - so much so that it's become her go-to song in the car on the way to work in the mornings.

We also heard from callers, whose resolutions ranged from spending a lot of money to learning to smoke pot. There was one standout gentleman, Ted, whose resolution (successful!) was to not leave the house wearing sweatpants. 

The specificity of Ted's resolution is a great way to make it stick. And there are other ways you can help yourself succeed.

Don't think of it as a resolution. Think of it as more of an intention, or even a "legacy statement" - not "I'm going to do this," but "This is the kind of person I am."

Start with a bang! Contrary to popular wisdom, you really might want to go big or go home. Think of it as a month-long intense overhaul. Research says that length of time can help create a new habit, which is more likely to be sustained.

Paradise lost? Try framing a resolution as something lost, like a former level of fitness, or an old hobby. That way, you already know you can do it.

Go public. Telling other people your resolutions can provide some accountability (Jeannie disagrees; she prefers to accomplish the thing and then tell people about it). One listener had her entire family write their resolutions on t-shirts, as a reminder throughout the year.

Bundle your temptations. Temptation bundling means that you link something that you want to do more often with something that you already crave. Want to watch the latest "Game of Thrones"? That's fine, but you can only watch it while you're on the treadmill.

Build on the shoulders of giants. In this context, your morning coffee habit might be a giant. To wit: If you want to eat an apple a day, link it to your coffee habit. Or wanting to listen to more podcasts could be paired with a morning commute. 

Accept failure — and keep going. One caller, Mike, successfully kept all three of his resolutions: moving his mother to Seattle from Missouri, starting a business, and getting off of parole. He said he did it by assuming there was no other option. Failure is a certainty, he says. But it doesn't mean that's where you stop.

All good advice to bear in mind as you embark on your 2018 resolutions. We look forward to celebrating your successes at the start of 2019!

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012