The Art Of The Resolution: Measureable, Pleasurable And Likely

Fresh. Clean. A blank slate…

There is something irresistible about a new year. All that possibility ahead, the promise of another chance to claim the year as your own.

After making, achieving (and breaking) more New Year’s resolutions than I can count, I’ve learned to make them measurable, pleasurable and likely.

Measureable is the territory of the left brain—but creatives ignore it at their peril. The need to measure crosses over to the right brain so you can feel your achievement. As your scorecard ticks up, it feeds your energy and desire for more. The key is to measure it in something that resonates for you and you alone. What’s the coin you most value?

The most-likely-to-come-to-fruition resolutions are—at their core—pleasurable, even if not every step feels wonderful in the doing. Keeping your mind firmly focused on the pleasurable outcomes can get you through the temporary temptations to side-track or sabotage. Case in point: Instead of agonizing over expanding your media presence (and doing nothing), focus on how good it feels to share your wisdom. And then write a blog post, film a video or grant an interview. Build your body of work, piece by piece. Find a way to enjoy the process or you won’t do it.

But the real key to success is to make your resolutions likely. Not pie-in-the-sky pipedreams, but realistic, achievable desires if you do the work you set out for yourself. So “become an overnight sensation” in your niche may be too much of a reach. But being “a sought-after media source on (fill in the blank)” could be just up your alley.

Don’t stop dreaming big. Just break it down into measurable, pleasurable and likely and you just might surprise yourself.


  • This is a real improvement to most thinking. Measurable is common – Pleasurable gives it some staying power and likely I think is the key to turning the corner.
    Thanks for sharing.
    -Dr. Gerdes

  • Thanks Darin–making this stuff pleasurable makes all the difference!

  • Really psychic in a sense. Even before the new year began, I committed to re-imagining my office space (reducing clutter, connecting all the printers (rather than connecting on a need basis), shedding old files and re-organizing what remains, updating some parts of my website, getting that big screen external monitor to ease work across multiple files and programs, adding a second day (in this case an eve) to play ball, and build out and strengthen some of my existing but somewhat under-tapped (professional) relationships. Just yesterday, I made a presentation at one of the three group I belong to in my professional network; despite a concise elevator pitch, more people got what I do and can do for them (all fellow attorneys); in many ways it represented a massive one-to-one; the feedback came in emails; scheduling coffees, breakfasts and lunches that help create what I call “chatter” across the group and network (In my field we emphasize chatter which I describe as positive talk and mentions about you that occurs even in your absence. The key to meeting goals often involve creating, identifying and achieving small steps along the road; it creates the positive feeling and momentum that energizes you to reach your goal. Its beauty as you so clearly articulated lies in you knowing you got there (each small step) and the frequency that others also see your progress and comments on it, thereby generating further energy.

  • Great stuff Corey! I love the alignment between changing up your physical space and your “pitch”. Isn’t it awesome when you get in that flow? Congratulations….

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