New Year’s resolutions; The road to hell…


It is that time of the year again…the time to reflect on the year that has passed and for most people to focus on the year to come. With that focus come the resolutions to make it a good year, a better year or even the best year yet. Whatever that may mean…


Honestly, I believe that the year’s end is an excellent time to indulge in retrospection. To be grateful for the year that has been and to strive to better oneself in the year to come. This tradition goes back to the Babylonian age when the people made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

Top ten resolutions in random order include drinking less, exercising more, quitting smoking, finding a new job, spending less time watching television, learning a new language, reading x books, eating healthy, meeting new people/significant other, becoming more efficient/confident/effective. Recognize any of those? But as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.



Have I failed in previous New Year’s resolutions? Off course I have and so have many of my friends and colleagues. But what is the reason that we fail despite our best intentions? We are trying to change something about our behavior or ourselves. That is not an easy task and it is certainly not accomplished overnight. But that is exactly what we are doing. Like flipping a light switch we expect an overnight change as the clock strikes midnight. Like a reverse Cinderella. Solely based on our intentions and will power. Now isn’t that a mission impossible for most of us?


May I suggest that we do it differently this year? Rather than expecting an overnight change and being disappointed that we yet again did not achieve what we so much hoped for let us take the entire year to accomplish our New Year’s resolution. You can use the following steps as a roadmap but feel free to change
it to suit your needs.

  1. Define a (realistic) goal and write it down.
  2. Break it down into smaller targets (accomplishments to realize on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis)
  3. Find help to realize your goal (Information, experts, support groups, like-minded friends)
  4. Celebrate your success along the way
  5. Do not think less of yourself when you have a setback (remember you have a full year to realize your goal!)
  6. Spill-over into 2017 if you need to and be proud of what you have accomplished



I am still contemplating my resolution for 2016, but I promise that I will share my results this time next year. Will you let me know if this new approach has helped you to make a success of your resolution(s)?


Marline Stoffer