The Benjamin Franklin Formula For Successful New Years Resolutions

Share & Comment

If you are like most people, life is full of peaks and valleys of motivation and Inspiration. Most people get extremely motivated, take on a strategy for conquering the world, realize they failed to follow through perfectly, lose motivation and crash down, giving up on success. This is of course very normal.

For many people, New Years is one of those times that we are easily motivated to take action in improving out lives. All it takes though is a few stumbles, and some rough winter weather to drag us back down to reality, where we easily give up.

There are many great strategies for New Years resolution success, and keeping the motivation going. Personally for me, since I find when I invest in improving myself, I feel better about myself and am motivated to do good, i make it a point to every day do a few small and easy things so that I always have positive fodder to feed my motivation. If it ever gets really rough, I can always count back to July 1st 2010 and realize I quit smoking 2 and 1/2 years ago. If an accomplishment like that can’t get me back on the “Take Action” bandwagon, I don’t know what will… Luckily, so far it hasn’t failed…

However, these strategies can only get you so far. To truly affect permanent change in your life, you need a real plan, rooted in understanding yourself and human behavior, and a system of accounting, in the spirit of  the axiom, “You Manage What You Measure.”

Here is Benjamin Franklin’s Formula as he outlines in his Autobiography.

As you may know, Ben Franklin rejected specific religions, but believed in G-d and in being a virtuous person, and developed his own 13 virtues. The order of these 13 virtues was developed in a way that when you master the first one, it will make the second one easier, etc…

For example, his first virtue, Temperance, to eat not to dullness, and drink not to elevation, ensures your clearness of head and coolness needed for the vigilance to maintain the other virtues. The second virtue, Silence, Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation, along with is third virtue of Order,let all your things have their places, would lead to enabling you to accomplish the other virtues…

Here is how Benjamin Franklin implemented and executed his resolutions. He created 13 pages in a notebook, one for each week. and Created a 7 day graph with 13 columns representing each of his virtues. What he would do is spend week one working on the first virtue, Temperance, but track how many times he falters in the other 12 virtues. His goal was to have zero marks in the first column, which represented the virtue he focused on that week. The goal for week two would be to have a perfect record in both the first and second column, and after 13 weeks have a completely clean slate. at which time he would start over and work on the first virtue again. Every evening he would take an accounting and record it as you see below.

So, For this new years, perhaps this format of steps that lead from one level to the next over a 3 month period would work, and track your efforts. So if your goal is weightloss. Make column one tracking what you eat. Column two walking 30 minutes a day. Column 3 going to the gym twice a week. Column 4 cutting down carbs, etc…. Or if your new years resolution is to find new customers. Create a 12 week plan, each step building on each other, and track how you do along the way.


Share & Comment
About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Rebecca Michaels says

    “Most people get extremely motivated, take on a strategy for conquering the world, realize they failed to follow through perfectly, lose motivation and crash down, giving up on success.” This is me to a ‘T’. I’m notorious for setting unrealistic things that I can’t follow through with, and it always brings me down. Every year I tone it down a little more, but I’m still experiencing chronic failure with my New Years Resolutions. I’ve never read his bibliography, so I’m glad you’ve drawn attention to this. It’s kind of silly that I’ve never thought about it that way, and that I continue year after year to try and execute things in a way that obviously doesn’t work – such as rushing in without a thought of realism. Considering it’s time to start thinking about resolutions for 2015 (getting my driver’s license is one of them), I’m going to be adapting this for my own goals and I might hopefully make a change. Have you worked out your resolutions for the coming year yet and are you going to use this method?

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.