New Year’s Resolutions: Friend or Foe

Dinosaurs & Wine

I see many people making resolutions for the new year, often about losing weight, eating better, trying to make more money so we can take that dream vacation or maybe finding that special person.

Until a few years ago I had always taken issue with the concept of “New Year’s Resolutions.”  I had always thought to myself, “Why? Why do I want to set myself up for failure?”

There’s the word. Failure. It’s a very powerful and personal foe.

I have been working for quite some time now on examining my own thoughts about it. As I have been breaking down and reconstructing my perceptions of resolutions and what the idea of failure means in my own mind, I have come to some personal conclusions that I would like to share.

Failure: It’s okay to fail. As a matter of fact we should embrace it… It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow. Ideally it’s how we become better people.  And, how many of us can honestly say we don’t want to be a better sister, brother, parent, friend, partner or person? How and when did we learn that we have to be perfect all the time or that we are never allowed to make mistakes? When are we allowed to be human? (The amount of stress and anxiety this induces will be saved for another post.) Allowing ourselves the space to be genuine and human is so freeing… as a matter of fact, we should all consider making that one of our resolutions this year. Which leads me to…


I think it’s all about whether we can allow ourselves to set up a goal and NOT beat ourselves up if it isn’t reached.  Can we keep from saying to ourselves…we’ve failed (we meet our foe again).  Recently, I have instated the practice of finding a word that fits with my overall goals or hopes for the year (which leaves me less chance of using the word ”failure”). Last year my word was “Resolute.” It was a great friend to me and really helped me focus my energy to get where I wanted to be.  This year the word and friend helping to guide me will be “Illuminate.”

If you are reaching for a goal this year…will you treat it as a friend or foe?