New Year Resolutions: Find Your First Domino

For many, the start of a new year has turned into a refresh button, granting ourselves permission to break ties with any past shortcomings in search of a new, well anything…a new body, a new habit, a new perspective, you name it.

While capitalizing on the energy of a new year, we many times set sail only relying on the gusts of hope the new year brings, ultimately finding ourselves stranded once the new year fades into just another year. Feeling lost and defeated, we revert to survival mode, waiting for the next rush of hope to help us get back on track. Sound familiar?

With this year’s resolution in the forefront of our minds, how do we set ourselves up for success and ensure we keep going when the wave of excitement from the new year dies down?


Find your first domino.


Most of us know of the game Dominoes, but even more so, we know of the domino effect. The domino effect is demonstrated when dominoes are placed in long lines so that when the first tile falls over, it causes the second and the third and so forth to fall over. It is the single action of knocking down the first tile which results in all tiles falling to the end.

Similarly, it is our first domino that can be used to set off a chain reaction. The term domino effect implies an event is either inevitable or highly likely, so our first domino should be the easiest first step to trigger the bigger step we are trying to take.

First dominoes come in many shapes and sizes, but their success is dependent on the intent and action behind them. For example, does your resolution involve shedding a few pounds? Then maybe your first domino is buying a scale. Is your resolution to run a half marathon? Your first domino could be signing up for a race. Is this the year you want to make that leap at work to elevate your career? Then your first domino might be scheduling time on your mentor’s calendar.

The first domino is just that, the first and easiest action you can take to set off a chain of similar events. Once you have tipped over that first domino, take advantage of the year ahead to see the cumulative effect of this single action that can create momentum and carry you closer to your resolution, especially after the hype of the new year has fizzled out. Lastly, remember life is not about checking the boxes, but the in between. So be sure to enjoy what it takes to get there, so checking the box signifies more than just an accomplishment, but results in the fullest of satisfaction.

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