Avoiding New Year Resolution Failures!

It’s that time of year again! New Year resolutions are the Western World traditions dating back two millennia. At first a pagan celebration, adopted by Puritans to keep their young people from participating in errant celebrations, they encouraged instead a quiet time of reflection. Christians welcomed New Year resolutions to inspire Biblical principles like being kind to others, healing old wounds, and taking forward movements toward more saintly activities.

Reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new year seems to be a positive, worthwhile goal. Following a survey, below are some of the most likely to achieve New Year resolution ideas:

Lose weight, eat healthy and workout more

            This one is the most common and most often dropped by February. This is a lofty, honorable goal but most often lost. Perhaps understanding your ‘why’ can change the trajectory and success rate. Knowing what fast food can do to your internal longevity might make it easier to drive by rather than drive through. Having a vision of what the red blood cells look when they are circulating during exercise verses pooling when we’re sitting still will help get us moving. The numbers in my bloodwork are very motivating.

Spend less time on the internet

            By less time on the internet, I mean things that have screens and need to be charged like phones, iPads, computers, gaming, T.V., etc. Unplug from social media, emails, Instagram, Tik Tok, gaming, and ten other things I don’t know about yet! Work to become more connected with family, friends, nature, community, and books. I’m not suggesting you never have screen time, I am addicted to Yellowstone, and the Bachelorette myself. But gaming or tv viewing all day, is a waste of who you are designed to be. Try setting a time limit or a weekly goal or do it while on the treadmill or folding laundry.


Less is more. I know it sounds contrary but if you are distracted by clutter, then decluttering brings calm. Use this new start as an opportunity to simplify your home, your schedule, your budget, and anything else keeping you from experiencing peace and abundance. Donate, reduce, delegate, or just stop. When evacuated due to fires, we had ten minutes to leave. It changed what I saw as important. We had a car and a truck to transport things and left without the promise of our home being there when we returned. This event pointed to what the word ‘valuable’ means and made it so much easier to let go when we returned home. I found 2 books I love to help walk me through decluttering: Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Simple Steps: 10 weeks to Getting Control of Your Life. There’s several YouTube videos that inspired me as well. One of them is Joshua Becker who takes a whole-life view of clutter and simplifying your life. Here’s one of his videos, but check out all the others. I followed him for months. He asks: Does our home serve us or do we serve our homes? “Little Changes You Can Make.”

Stop being owned by others

            Get out of debt, eliminate toxic relationships, and evaluate thoughts that may no longer serve you. Do whatever it takes to get your debt inline and planning for your current and future moments. Relationships that destroy harmony and peace of mind need to be either severely limited or completely excluded. If you have tried for years to make the connection work, and it remains in failure mode, avoid a long painful good-bye, and get on with life. Capture every thought and follow it to its source, then ask yourself, “Is this true today? Does it serve me where I want to go?”

Be Conscious of Community

2024 is not looking like it will be too much different from 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023. However, within the ‘new’ lifestyles we need to adopt, we can return to the core of being human and all that means. In Romans 12:10 we’re told, “Be devoted to one another.” What will that look like for you as you serve your friends, family, neighbors, city, and community? You can still set boundaries, eliminate overcommitment, embrace quiet times, and set goals but still reach out to those who need the human touch. A text, a note, a call, a timely cupcake can do miracles to lift someone’s soul.

Try Something New

Doing something new expands our knowledge about ourselves and keeps our brains awake. Is there something you have always wanted to do but haven’t? Stop putting it off—do it! I once attempted to do one hundred new things in one year, and almost made it. It included, cooking lessons, eating foods I hadn’t tried before, flying in a helicopter, a mud pack, a new hair style, adopting a rescued pup, traveling to places someone said I would like (they were right) and just striking up conversations with people I normally wouldn’t. I started a new business and learned how to build a website. I grew in ways I hadn’t even thought of. Read a book, start a blog, use a different burner on the stove. Start today and stretch yourself.

Write in a journal

Start with making a bucket list. If it is on paper, we’re more likely to plan to accomplish it or others may help us succeed. Write down how you are feeling, really feeling –no one will see it. I like a pretty journal to write in. I also like the spiral type so I can fold the pages back, put it on my lap and write while I sip my mocha! Keep track of anything and everything. It will help you know what you know and what you might want for the future. It also serves as a great reminder of the good, the bad and the wonderful things in life.

Do One!

All these ideas are great but human nature tends to keep us in a familiar stance. Rather than commit to the death of several new resolutions, make a list of all the goals you want to achieve and then pick one! Select one goal and go at it with a fervor. If you accomplish that one, then you can move on to the next one.

Resolutions are traditions that should set us in a forward motion, not pressure us. It’s good to get out of our comfort zones and stretch for more. Resolve to select the most important accomplishment or life improvement and start—one step at a time. Mark a calendar with potential days of accomplishment. This will help you know if you are on track or not. When I set goals, I also set up rewards for accomplishment. I treat myself for completing the task. I also keep a grease board in my office with monthly goals and erase them when I complete them.

I found an interesting resolution connection from the Middle Ages; each year, Knights would renew their vow of chivalry by placing their hand on a live or roasted peacock (I’m not making this up—peacocks represented nobility). This event took place at the last feast of Christmas. Participating in this ‘resolution’ was a commitment to maintain their values of knighthood. If you’ve been following Dare to be a Badass for very long, you may realize the purpose of the magazine is to inspire and celebrate women who choose to pick up their swords and take their place as gap-standers for others.

As Christian women we are heirs to the King. Our knighthood motto as Titus 2 women is, “When we shine, we illuminate the way for others.”

Let’s commit to shining this New Year!