On Being Resolute About Resolutions!

Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg

New year! New you! Another go-around with New Year’s resolutions! Or not?

Generally, it is a slippery slope when one makes a New Year’s resolution and then tries to adhere to it during the 365 days ahead. But before you read further, think about what you have chosen for a resolution (if you make one!). To get a sense of this nonsensical tradition, I wanted to hear from friends on the subject. Here are the results:

“Every year I vow to recycle more. I start by reusing all of last year’s resolutions!” (Tony)

“We admire people who start the new year off on a positive note and can actually maintain the resolution until the year’s end! We have yet to accomplish that—life just gets in the way!” (Linda)

“I hope to have more respect for the religious, political, and philosophical beliefs of others.” (Dan)

“My first thought about these resolution ideas is, which New Year’s? Rosh Hashanah? Gregorian calendar? Julian (Eastern Orthodox)? Hijri (Muslim)? Naw-Ruz (Baha’i and Iranian)? Interestingly enough, all these and others have some sort of reflection and self-examination attached to them.” (Randall)

“I try not to make a resolution that I cannot, or might not, be motivated to follow through on. But this year I am making a resolution to get back to hosting friends for dinner, something we did fairly regularly before COVID.” (Carol)

“Many years ago, I decided not to make New Year’s resolutions. I found I was constantly disappointed in myself for not sticking to these resolves, which were usually made over-optimistically! Instead, I evaluate my personal goals on my birthday, see where I am with them, and assess what I can do differently to try to reach them.” (Cathe)

“I don’t make resolutions. All that does is give one permission to overindulge during the holidays—and then go on a draconian diet that is impossible to stick to.” (Susan)

“New Year’s resolutions work very well for some people. But it is mostly a case of one deciding to do something for oneself. IMHO (in my humble opinion), if making a New Year’s resolution helps this along … great!” (Dale)

“In 2024 I want to smile more and discover an alternative to chocolate.” (JD)

“My niece says her advice is ‘Let it go!’ like the song from Frozen.” (Pat)

“Every year I promise I am going to get more exercise. Then, one month in, I usually lose my verve … but I keep hoping.” (Kate)

“This New Year I will remember to be present in the present, not letting the past or the future steal my ability to enjoy and be grateful for each new day and the promise it brings. I will try to fully listen to my companions, bask in the sunshine or listen to the rain, and be grateful for all that is before me.” (Jaclyn)

“My resolution is just to be a kinder and more compassionate version of myself in these troubled times.” (Susan)