A New Kind of Resolution

A New Kind of Resolution

Decades ago, when we were young and eager for success, my friends and I challenged each other to set the most unachievable New Year’s Resolutions and actually attempt to achieve them.

Patti, a fledgling singer/songwriter, vowed to write a Billboard top-ten hit.
Greg, an early adapter of the fitness industry, promised to create a yoga center for the stars.
Leslie, Chuck, and Vince set excessive salary goals for their next job searches.

And I’d be spending my days huddled over the typewriter, pecking out NYT best-sellers one after the other.

You probably guffawed your way through that list, even if you had similar resolutions of your own back in the day. According to Forbes, 80% of people abandon their resolutions by February—so why should this year be any different?

Maybe the issue isn’t the challenge of “keeping” a resolution.

Maybe the issue is the type of resolution we set.

John Lennon famously wrote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” which should give all of us cause to consider whether we want to spend our days focused on the future, or being “in the now.”

These last few years—dealing with COVID restrictions, political unrest, and the general ups and downs of daily life—I’ve had some time to give that quote and a few others some thought. Maybe attempting to regulate how I behave or what I consume is of less importance than some other things.

Meister Eckhart, the 13th Century German philosopher, said, “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”


What if, instead of barreling into the day intent on accomplishing as much as possible in the shortest amount of time, we decided to slow down, and let each experience of the day come at us as something new? What if we asked ourselves, “How would a total stranger view this situation, and might that make a different for me today?”

I am quite clear that this is no easy task, and it flies in the face of what many of us have been taught all our lives. But what if asking What if? opened up new possibilities for us or those around us?

Maybe instead of a New Year’s Resolution to be or do more, we should make a resolution to do or be less. “Today I won’t respond to anything without first considering the opposite approach to the one I held yesterday. Today I will play a mind game with myself.”

That could be far more interesting and life-changing than “Today I will do 10 more reps of each exercise,” or “Today I will cut my calorie intake by 10%.”

The quote that got me thinking the most is this: “Every year you make a resolution to change yourself. This year, make a resolution to BE yourself.” (author unknown).

It’s not easy to be yourself, surrounded as we are by hundreds of marketing messages for products, and the constant pressure to conform to fashion in looks and behaviors.

It’s not easy to be yourself.

But what if you gave it a try?

Even if it’s just till February first.