How to make resolutions that actually work

The secret to making resolutions that actually work is also the secret to making a hit movie. So let me teach you how to make a hit movie.

At the start, our hero lives their ordinary life. We wouldn’t care to watch that for long, but fortunately all good stories push our hero through a door.

Door-1-1024x640The door is something irreversible; once you walk through, you can never go back. For the Matrix, it’s Neo choosing the red pill. For Gravity, it’s having your shuttle sliced to ribbons. In Shawshank Redemption, an innocent man is sentenced to life.

The door is where the story begins. It puts our hero on a path they cannot escape, and the tension compels us to watch.

Near the end of the story, our hero must pass through a second door. Again, the door is one-way. But this door demands a resolution. To pass through it guarantees a conclusion, whatever that may be. Our hero must fight their nemesis to the death, or chase their love to the airport, or stand before disapproving parents and dance for their hopes and dreams.

Door-2It’s the formula of nearly every story ever told, because it works. Once you pass through a door, you can never go back.


Now let me tell you what isn’t a good movie.

Our unhappy hero wakes up one late December morning and stares at the mirror. “Oh god” he sighs, at his portly reflection. “In the new year, I swear – I’m going to lose weight!”

And then he updates his Facebook status, buys a copy of Runners World, and goes to the gym three times. The End.

Door-4If you want to make a resolution – a real resolution – you’re gonna have to walk through a door. The smart, resolute part of yourself might be in control now, but you know that’s not who will stop you. The lazy, stupid, reflexive part of yourself will be in control later, when the air is cold and you feel sort-of-ill-ish-I-think, and if you haven’t got something to drag that screaming brat out of bed you will fail.

You do this already, by the way. School, for example, is a door you can’t well choose not to pass through, which is why you attended it so successfully. Your job works in the same way, as does marriage and children. Doors are irreversible and non-optional, and our society is predicated on them.

So you really want to start your own business? Try quitting your job; that’ll take care of motivation. Want to lose weight? Sign up for a marathon in 9 months in an exciting foreign country, and book the non-refundable flights now. Or if that’s more than you can handle, start a scheduled team activity where if someone misses out, it hurts the others. Guilt will carry you when willpower fails.

Don’t jump on Facebook to announce your new resolution. It gives you a short term ego buzz now (“Look at me! I’m so awesome!”) but does zip to regulate your behaviour (few friends will remember your promise, or be so crude as to call you on it). By all means involve friends, but make your pressures real.

Most of all, don’t make the mistake of thinking wishful words alone will get you there. Nearly everyone fails their new year’s resolutions, which should be about as surprising as learning that the words “avada kedavra” don’t actually kill people. Just saying words doesn’t make a thing happen. Walk through a door instead.

Post by Oliver Emberton
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Resolution Solution

Well I never made any New Year’s resolutions, as I have said countless times already they are stupid. I did however decided to do some things more, which is more or less for self-improvement. Among them, I managed to blog regularly in my almost 6 years of blogging. So far 73 blog posts in this month alone, 4 of them in my other blog and the remaining 69 along with this one right here! With an average of 2 posts and some days 3, this is a record in my life time yet. More than the no. of posts in a year previously. So bit happy on that regard, just have to do more useful stuff now.

Coming to the thing which I didn’t do, still haven’t read anything yet. Need to get back into reading more, hell I have to start with something soon!

Which New Year’s resolution haven’t you kept? Why? How will you redouble your efforts to achieve your goal?

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The Jan-ourney so far

So with two thirds of the the first month of this year almost over, not much change in the monotonous life so far. I’m not a person of the kind who makes any New Year’s resolution as I look forward to each day as a new challenge to face or simply doze off. But this time I have some interesting notes to point out.

I bought my own (name) domain and started a second ie this blog: for more frequent writing after facing a hiatus in the past few months. Happy to say within 20 days, wrote over 50 posts which is a personal record! Counting from this and my first blog which got me into the world of blogging which will turn 6 this year. Major credits goes to The Daily Post and Plinky for the cool prompts.

Haven’t hit the books yet (whichever came to your head first, that is true) but will do so soon.

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New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

So the Mayan apocalypse theory appears to be another (failed) joke, the conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray! Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. So much for all these years of ‘waiting’ for it and playing Assassin’s Creed since 2007. In a way, I actually was ‘looking forward’ to the apocalypse. But hey…


Thank you Desmond Miles….

BUT! They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. Yes, that is true. Now we wait for what happens in March.

So now since a-freaking-meteor-is-being-hurled-at-earth-and-we are-going-to-turn-to-dust-anyways, I’ll list down some things which I would want to change with my life (at least for 3 months?) I find this concept of ‘new year resolutions’ really ridiculous, on which I already gave my opinion in my first introductory post of this blog, I would want to highlight 3 things I want to change about my life, which is not something I would resolve for the new year, but heck I always wanted to and doing it anyways.

1. Write More

Today marks the end of week 1 of 2013, and in my about 6 years of blogging this is the first time I managed to write on my blog everyday, and that to more than 1 post! Bravo to me! While not limited to my blogs, I hope to write more. I don’t intend to be an author or anything, I’m just quite intrigued with journalism and creative writing.

2. Read More

It has been quite a long time since I indulged myself in the pleasure of reading (that includes my college books, quite evidently) which I haven’t done in perhaps, years. I ought to read good books more.

3. Stop making excuses to myself.

While this is the most important among the three I feel, which I actually never gave a thought about. I seldom give excuses to others (most cases in which I’m least bothered so this isn’t even the case to begin with and I don’t commit if I can’t fulfill) I need to stop them with myself individually and start using my head more.

So in short, it is less of ‘new year’s resolutions’ and more of ‘life-long self-improvement’ (again, unless we aren’t blown to dust in 3 months; dam why am I so excited about it?) I wonder if I can complete even one or come closer in checking off one goal in my bucket list, I just think bit big you see.


Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?


Why? Because I never made one. Ever. To me, this is just ridiculous. I admit, looking forward to a new year, a new chapter of your life and resolving make yourself better is of course a good thing, but why wait for more 300 days or so for doing something which you possibly start NOW*

(*conditions apply- unless you are waiting for the result of some test/interview you gave or waiting for a child, just saying)

“Dam it! It’s already past ‘New Year Day’, so I’ll stop drinking next year after 364 days. Till then I ‘resolve’ to lose my weight. Or virginity.”

Some of these human customs do elude me.

Perhaps people should first resolve to keep their resolutions. Resolu-ception.

By the way just for your knowing:

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends