It is appropriate as we enter a New Year that we take a look at traditional “New Year’s Resolutions”. Many have done such Resolutions for a long time but have lost sight of the opportunity for a new beginning that they represent.

Knowing based on past experiences that they will fail at their “Resolutions”, people neither put much thought into them nor really believe they will carry them out. They don’t even know why they make resolutions – they just do.  Force of habit nothing more. This is why fitness centers are packed in January with all the new fitness “converts” and back to their regular clientele come March. And why a resolve to make monthly deposits into savings disappears after mid-January when the Christmas credit card purchases appear on statements.

Shallow, hastily formed resolutions fade quickly. Since folks didn’t really believe the resolutions when they made them, they are easy to ignore in their execution. Lacking commitment, failure was the inevitable result.  Resolutions said with no conviction and no meaningful plan, lead to continued failure throughout the year and beyond as you demonstrate once again that you will not carry out what you say you’ll do.

“Every time you tell yourself you are going to do something meaningful and then don’t, a piece of your soul is ripped from your being.” Charles A. Green 7/30/13

Rather than cursorily list a few items in which you are bound to fail, take the time to do it correctly. The end of the year with all the related work, friends and family activities, travel and end of the year reports, is a poor time to develop serious thoughts of your future.

Instead of making some shallow reference to things you might do and hurriedly write a few resolutions before New Year’s Eve, I’d suggest wait a few days and use the time between New Year’s Eve and the next weekend to develop your ideas. Thus on the first weekend of the new year a time when normally you would have already begun to break your resolve to go on a diet, go to the gym, read good books, any multitude of things, take time to contemplate and write down the things that are important to you, the resources you will need to draw upon, things you’d like to improve upon, things you’d like to do to help others. Consider your relationships and how you may strengthen them.

Once written, share your resolutions with at least one person. You are ultimately the one that has to hold yourself accountable but it is most helpful to enlist the support of a trusted friend whose job is to encourage you throughout the year. For real motivation, share your top one, two or, three resolutions with many people.

Armed with a written list of commitments post these in your home where you are sure to see them daily. Sunday when the busy week slows down a bit, evaluate each item on your list. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t held to each. Simply re-commit. This method will provide many opportunities to evaluate and plan your next week and beyond.

Resolutions are not carved in stone. They deserve continual evaluation and modification. Better to change your plan as circumstances require than to toss the effort in its entirety.


  • Never lose sight of your goals.
  • Each day is a new beginning with the opportunity to improve.
  • It is not failure that matters, it is the getting back up and doing, that leads to success.

As we celebrate New Year’s, a toast to new beginnings!

May God bless your family and friends and

Bring success to your endeavors throughout the year!

©     Charles A. Green   December 30, 2013





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