Make a Contract with Yourself for New Year’s Resolutions

I love a new year. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to refocus my goals, a chance to try something new. And there’s party hats!

But there’s not a lot to poke fun at. You can use the number of the year, but that obviously has an extremely short shelf life. There’s the ball dropping in New York, but drawing a big crowd is no fun. So, you’re pretty much left with resolutions.

After some thought it occurred to me that a New Year’s resolution is very much like a contract. It’s a promise to either do or not do something. But it’s just with yourself, so it usually doesn’t last long.

So I thought maybe inserting it into some legal paperwork might be fun, and I came up with the above cartoon.

Happy New Year everyone!


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

9 Reactions
  1. Happy New Year, everyone! I am working on some of my resolutions right now:

    (1) Clean up my desk, and dust my keyboard and monitor

    (2) Empty my email inbox (or get as close to empty as possible)

    (3) Organize my computer files!

    What are your resolutions?

    – Anita

  2. A few years ago, I switched my New Year’s resolutions from negative (must quit this, must stop that) to positive things I can look forward to or work towards with enjoyment… this year it’s writing a book, last year it was enjoying time with my daughter, the year before it was visiting Rome.

  3. Anita: I have written my resolutions as three keywords (thingies, opportunities, plucking) in my post, Year MMX.

    Sean: I like your positive outlook! 🙂

  4. Love the cartoon, and the positive resolutions. Now for a way to stay positively accountable, make the contract with yourself AND — select your mastermind partner carefully!

    If you’re interested, there is an article on how to choose helpful relationships for project successes on the Educanopy Blog, at

    Good luck on making and keeping those wise New Year’s Resolutions.

  5. For a simple approach to setting goals and being more productive, you may want to check out, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.