What is a Microresolution Anyway?

Mi•cro•res•o•lu•tion (n) a commitment to a limited, specific, and measurable change in behavior or attitude that produces an immediate and observable benefit.

For most of my life I lived the common experience in resolution making—I failed nearly all the time. These personal failures were a mystery to me, as I was very successful in my career on Wall Street and in nurturing a happy and rewarding family life. I put in long hours running a global department numbering nearly five hundred people, meeting demanding deadlines, and coaching careers; I was devoted to my family, to the needs of my young daughter, husband, and aging parents; I was engaged in charities and active in my community. But despite my capacity to deliver for others and the take-no-prisoners attitude I brought to the most challenging career assignments, I struggled to keep the personal commitments I made to myself, from going to the gym regularly to spending more time with my family. With all my energy and determination, I wondered why my resolutions had succeeded only a handful of times.

Finally, after a particularly painful resolution flop, I tried something different. I assigned myself a precisely targeted and meaningful behavioral change—a microresolution—and I succeeded in changing myself permanently. My first microresolution brought me immediate benefits and is still paying dividends, years later. Yet it was only after succeeding at several more microresolutions modeled on the first that I realized I had stumbled onto a method for making targeted commitments that succeeded virtually every time. I began reaching goals that had been years deferred: I lost weight and got in shape; I became tidier and better organized; I improved my relationships and my finances. Excited by my progress, I began to share my system with business colleagues, friends, and family who in turn passed the system on to others. My thriving test lab led me to a simple conclusion: Microresolutions work.

Small Move, Big Change teaches the art of targeting the small but significant behavioral change that leads to personal transformation. The book lays out the seven rules of microresolutions and contains dozens of stories of individuals who made microresolutions that changed their lives for the better, permanently, in every area of self-improvement.

Small Move, Big Change will be published by Viking Penguin in 2014, but you don’t have to wait for publication day to get started. Sign up for my free, four-week guided course and make your first microresolution today. Take the Microresolution Challenge!