Author Nassim Taleb has a good suggestion for doing New Year’s Resolutions.
He posted this on his Facebook page:
PLEASE SHARE VIA NEGATIVA RULES.
I am quite certain that new year resolutions don’t really work, are more wishful thinking (gyms are full in January and empty in February)… except that interdicts have worked in history: halal/kashrut dietary laws, etc. I have personally never been successful with positive resolutions, but have been with stated negative year-end rules: in 2007 (never be late for the year 2008 which worked well by injecting redundancies, and seems to have effortless carried over to today) and 2012 (no reading outside of maths for 2013, with weak exceptions).
Intuitively this makes sense. Easier to eliminate some bad practice, rather than doing something new. We’ll try in 2014.