“Resolutions are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” – Oscar Wilde

Call me cynical, but this snarky Wilde quote mocking the futility of resolutions did my heart good during this ride around the New Year’s merry go round. Maybe that is because his eye roll at imaginary bank accounts pointed to the exact downfall of most resolutions. Mine, anyway.  They often rely on sweeping goals (for me, reading a book a week this year) without any real intention of building the tiny interior habits and micro-decisions that build up that positive balance over time.

Instead, Wilde’s wise anti-message seems to be–work with what you already have and build from there for real.

In one of my blogs earlier this year about author Damon Brown, Inc columnist and productivity coach, I noted how his book about productivity led me to experiment with reading during the first twenty minutes of every work day– as well as during breaks. Kind of like warming up my car–or tuning the writing/ editorial concentration-bolstering part of my brain. It really worked for me last year.

But there are so many other good reasons to slate more dedicated time for reading both fiction and non-fiction books. For one, just a few minutes of reading books can reduce my stress by 68 percent according to this 2009 study! (Take that, extrovert-focused world!)  I really feel the stress-reducing effects of reading immediately–dramatically–in a sense of rich-inner-focused quiet that spreads like steeped tea inside.

So, this year, instead of resolving that “I will read a book a week,” I am asking myself when, where, and exactly how I will fit more reading in? I won’t tell you my answers, but I am –thanks Wilde!–asking myself where my bank account is already opened. What worked last year that might work even better next year?

How about you? What’s your micro New Year’s resolution! Or better yet, what worked last year that you felt really good about–that might work even better next?

Most of all, have a very happy and healthy new year!