Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Resolutions

Do you do new year’s resolutions?

For much of my younger life I did the standard NY resolution thing where I created bucket list items and made hollow promises to myself about the year ahead which usually fell in a heap before January was out.

I then ditched the annual resolutions for decade focussed long-term goals where I’d push myself to achieve major things by the time I turned a big zero year. These intentions were set to ensure I hit each milestone happy and content. They have served me well with each decade - 30 (travel, education, career, house, marriage, kids), then 40 (fitness, travel, less career, published author, community contributions), then 50 (travel, house, family, helping my kids achieve their dreams) and now as I head towards 60 (new career, travel, health, role model and continual knowledge based growth).

Over the last decade I’ve also participated in the “word for the year” which worked wonders for many years and helped me to keep focussed and on track with whatever goals I was concentrating on. You can find many of my word of the year posts via the search function on this blog. I found it to be a great tool when it comes to achieving results over a twelve-month period.

During the last twelve months I haven’t done a lot of planning at all to be honest - I mean, other than my daily to-do lists and project management plans which are ingrained in who I am. I usually set myself annual intentions as the calendar flips to 1 January as I expect big things of myself . Not so for 2020 and not so for 2021. I’ve done nothing this new year other than make a decision to optimise my health, which had nothing to do with this being a new year and everything to do with an opportunity presenting itself, so I jumped on board. It just so happened to fall within the first week of January.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is I’ve not set myself resolutions, goals, intentions, or a word of any kind this year. I’m just continuing to plod along with the same projects I had in place last year and similar to-do lists in my every day. Neither of which are overly inspiring.

Which makes me wonder, are new year’s resolutions still a thing?

According to goodhousekeeping.comIt's still tradition to decide on a few New Year's solutions before the ball drops on December 31, and this year, a renewed focus on your health may be top of mind.” They go on to give us 55+ Achievable New Year's Resolutions for Healthier and Happier Living.

Dr. Lazarus as quoted in the Health and Wellbeing section of suggests “after a difficult year, the last thing we need to do is put more pressure or set a goal that might not be realistic during a global pandemic Even in a normal year, many people still fail to keep their resolutions.”

Even weighs into the resolution debate suggesting we should ditch the old-fashioned resolution mindset and aim for solid goal setting instead. “Goals are specific, whereas resolutions tend to be broad and vague. Goals are much more actionable, which is what makes them more effective.”

Then we’ve got the British Psychologist Society which believes a resolution is better than no resolution at all. According to “You are ten times more likely to achieve your goal if you make a resolution than if you do not.”  They go on to give us the following tips:

  • Start by making that NYR. It is not a waste of time. You are ten times more likely to achieve your goal if you make a resolution than if you do not.
  •  Make it about what you want to achieve today, and for the rest of this month.
  • Garner social support and strengthen your commitment by telling everyone what you plan to do. Splash it across social media!
  • Then, sit down and spend a few minutes imagining, as vividly as you can, what you will do today to get started on your plan, what you will do next, and how good it will feel to succeed each day.

I must confess the above UK article is a few years old and pre-COVID, and it does seem to put resolutions and goals in the same compartment, but I’ve included it because I whole-heartedly agree that goal setting is important for positive forward movement. Without goals we’re bumbling along allowing life to happen to us, rather than taking control of our every day. I can personally attest to the power of goals (as my decade goals have allowed me to hit each major birthday feeling empowered, confident, and content). But I agree with Forbes that while goals are more specific, resolutions tend to be vague by their very nature. More of an “I will” mentality versus an “I’m thinking about …” frame of mind. 

All this chatter has me a little concerned that I’ve not set myself anything specific for this year. I’m still innately action focussed, and results driven. Yet, while I’ve vaguely listed my decade long-term goals, other than taking control of my health, I have nothing listed for 2021 specifically. Why? Perhaps it’s COVID. Maybe it’s age. Maybe I’m just a little slow to hit the ground running this year. All I know is, I’m contemplating my naval a little longer than normal to get this 2021 show on the road.

So tell me, do you do new year’s resolutions?

Where do you sit in the whole resolutions versus goals debate?

What have you done to get your 2021 off the ground?

It's Thursday which makes it Lovin Life day. The day we think about all the stuff we're lovin' about life. Big stuff or small stuff, we can always find something to love in our everyday.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Happy New Year...and how long is a piece of string. I think, now at 71 that goals are much more fluid. Thank goodness. I lived with goal making, striving and more in my 40 year education career. This is the first year for me that, all things going well, will not be based around medical, surgical and dental appointments relating to cancer (that was 2017, 2018, 2019) and other medical and surgical stuff (2020). So, I am LOVING choices. I am making them each day to meet my needs and in conjunction with my dear husband of almost 50 years. I am well. I have relative freedom each day to do as I choose. Money IS limited, so for us now is the ability to do much more other than stay close to home. We cannot, thanks to covid, even be sure of a family lunch for our Golden Wedding Anniversary. So, in keeping with all this, yes I find a guide word is very good for me. My post, next Monday for my Link Up is a story of all the ones I have used. Have a great start to 2021 ...and THANK YOU for this link up!! D x

  2. Happy New Year, Leanne! I usually set goals for myself. I don't do resolutions or word of the year. This year I continue maintaining my health, home and leisure. Have a fabulous 2021!

  3. Happy New Year, Leanne! I usually set goals. I don't do resolutions or word of the year. This year I continue my focus on health, home and leisure.

  4. I don't do NY resolutions - I find that they set me up for failure if I'm not consistently reminding myself about them. I've been choosing a WOTY for the last 6 years and they are perfect for me - a little inspiration and intention, but flexible enough to work with throughout the year. I can morph them to fit where life takes me and also use them to remind myself of where I want to go. I've linked this year's word up in the party today x

  5. I don't do New Year Resolutions. Like you I think they are hollow. Though I do think we need goals to enable us to move forward. Mine this year is to get out of this "funk" I am in following 2 injuries (breakages) last year and regain my fitness. We are starting to plan a trip to the north of our state for later in the year, so that should help me focus on getting fitter. I hope! Take care. Wishing you and yours all the best for 2021.

  6. I do a word of the year, but manage my goals against a list of 101 goals in 1001 days. It seems to work for me with my word of the year overlaying the how and the theme. This year my word is imagine.

  7. Happy New Year. I don't really set goals other than trying to be the best person that I can be. That is the only goal I have.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

  8. I haven't set any resolutions in years but last year I did set small monthly goals and talking about them on my blog helped me attain them. This year I decided to try a word of the year and see how that guides me.

  9. Happy New Year,Leanne! I haven't set any resolutions in years but last year but i did set a small goals. currently i m starting YouTubing. Hope it's work


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