Resolutions you can keep: Do the next thing! may be the  only New Year’s resolution you’ll ever need to make: Do the next thing.

This week, we’re talking about New Year’s resolution that you can keep, and this is one that I recommend very highly: Do the next thing. Keep doing that, and you’ll bring your RCR (resolution-completion rate) up to stratospheric levels! It often seems we’ve bitten off more than we can chew, especially with things like New Year’s resolutions. Many of us set the bar too high, and fail too often.

For writers, taking the next step is one of the tricks used to get started. You don’t set out to write the perfect piece from start to finish. You just write a sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence, and it doesn’t even have to be very good. It’s just a sentence, and it’s a start.

So you have a huge list of things you want to accomplish this year? And you’re not sure you’ll get them all done. So what? Instead of making a huge list of challenges for yourself in 2011, just promise to do the next thing.

Don’t promise that you’ll climb a mountain. Just take the next step.

Don’t vow to fix all of your relationships. Just make a phone call.

Don’t say you’re going to lose a ton of weight. Just step out the door.

Just do the next thing.

So, what’s next on your list?

Click “Comment” below and share one thing.

(Dr. Baker is away and has invited writer Terry Gallagher to carry us through the year-end holidays.)

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