Make New Year’s resolutions that work for you

Ruth Griffiths

January takes its name from the Roman god Janus who is depicted with two faces, one looking back and one looking forward. According to Wikipedia, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings.
It is traditional at this time of year to look back on the year past, reflecting on our successes and learning from our failures. We make resolutions to improve our lives in the coming year. It can be a hopeful time if we focus on the possibilities that await us.
According to the website the most common New Year’s resolutions are:
1 Exercise more
2 Lose weight
3 Get organized
4 Learn a new skill or hobby 
5 Live life to the fullest
6 Save more money / spend less money
7 Quit smoking
8 Spend more time with family and friends
9 Travel more
10 Read more
The website offers some practical advice for setting attainable goals and achieving them.
Sadly, most people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions. According to
“Most people blame their failure to fulfill resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or motivation, or a loss of zeal after starting. Only about 16 per cent of people are able to follow their resolutions, according to research.”
Most people blame their failure to fulfill resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or motivation, or a loss of zeal after starting. But according to, you need to change your mindset before you change your behaviour… in other words, you gotta wanna.
Lack of time — When we tell ourselves that we don’t have enough time to accomplish our resolutions, we are simply making an excuse or procrastinating. During the early days of the pandemic I decided I would clean the basement which had been accumulating clutter for 15 years. I think I spent a grand total of two hours down there since the spring of 2020. Clearly time was not the issue.
Motivation — Einstein once said: “We cannot solve a problem on the level of consciousness that created it.” Sadly, until we are able to heal what has hurt us from the past, we’ll continue to perpetuate the very challenges that we most want to run from.
Accountability is another huge key to the success of changing your behaviours. The dreaded Weight Watchers weigh-in is a prime example of how regularly measuring our progress can keep us on track. My brother benefited from an online group where people posted how many steps they had taken each according to their Fitbit. He never met any of those people and there were no rewards besides posting your progress for all to see. It helped him to walk the walk.
Rewards are essential to achieve the little steps toward our goals. Many of us start off strong with self-improvement programs but then bog down. The diet gets boring. The program becomes more difficult. It’s just not fun any more … it’s work. As you achieve each step in your self-improvement program, you need to reward yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back and a little treat. Let your friends and family know about your successes so they too can applaud your progress.
As I age, I find myself focusing more on the past. Memories are a comfort when my world is shrinking because of my diminishing abilities. So my resolution for 2023 is to be open to possibilities. If I learned anything during the pandemic, it is that I am strong and resilient. I can pivot. I can change and adapt. I believe good things are possible.