My family has an annual tradition of gathering to publicly state and write down our New Year’s resolutions and revisiting them the following year to see how we did. Through all the merriment, teasing, and quiet determination that emerges from those yearly rituals, I’ve learned that making promises in a group setting is very powerful.
I also began to notice that when individuals didn’t accomplish resolutions they had committed to, one of two things would occur. Some folks got embarrassed, disappointed in themselves, and maybe even discouraged (especially when resolving to lose 20 pounds year after year). Others were more upbeat, more motivated to try again, and share what they learned about accomplishing a particular goal.