A Different Take On New Year’s Resolutions

I think by now, we’ve all heard the truth about New Year’s resolutions. We make ‘em to break ‘em.

Gyms everywhere are packed with people working off their treats from the Christmas season, but, as fitness fanatics like to remind us, they’ll be gone by Valentine’s Day.

Stores are filled with various organizational products, because you’re finally ready to get your house in order.

Ads try to invoke as much guilt as possible to convince us that we need to buy their products to make our lives better.

A cultural tradition has been established of reflecting on the past year, and creating a list of things to accomplish or habits to change in the coming year.

Well this year, I’m making a different kind of resolution list.


Because I’m done making a list of things I may or may not do and feeling guilty about how long it takes me to complete them or about not completing them at all.

So instead of making New Year’s Resolutions of things I want to do, I’m making resolutions about who I want to become.

This year, I want to become more patient.

I want to be more kind and aware of the people around me.

I want to be someone who doesn’t give up.

I want to be more gracious – to those around me and myself.

I want to be diligent in working on my past to limit its impact on my future.

This list of things I want to become will certainly involve a change in the things I do. It will involve a change in habits and behaviors. But more important than the details of what habits and behaviours will need to change, is the desire for an overall shift towards these better qualities of the person I want to be.

I challenge you to think differently about your New Year’s resolutions. Think about who you want to be, not just what you want to do. If you’ve already made your list of resolutions, look at how they tie into who you want to be.

If your resolutions are are related to eating or exercise habits, recognize that your goal should be focussed on being a physically healthy person, not just to lose weight or look a certain way. Weight loss or a change in physical tone may come, but, as long as your focus is on being more healthy, you’ll be able to give yourself more grace for the bumps in the road.

Whatever your list of resolutions is, take a look at the bigger picture of who you want to be and examine your list from that perspective. And then take one step forward…

And then an another step…

And another…

And by this time next year, you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.