About Resolutions by Roz Denny Fox

This ‘N That About New Year’s Resolutions


What masochistic person do you think first came up with the notion of starting a new year with resolutions? Most of us set them. Many of our goals are too lofty or unrealistic, so we promptly break them and then feel guilty.

Instead of making a list, maybe a person would be better served to choose just one thing. It could be one idea that might cover more than one area in your life, such as “I resolve to get motivated”.

That may mean you hope to eat better. Or maybe you’ll set and meet a page goal for 5 out of 7 days. Or perhaps you’ve fallen behind on regular exercise and you’ll find a way to motivate an exercise routine. Pick one. The people I know tend to make a long list, but having too long a list tends to make us frustrated, because it’s difficult to alter or change habits we’ve indulged in for at least the past year, if not longer.

To have a really happy new year a person needs to distress. One of my women’s health magazines for January has a section on life lesson tips from some of our top women athletes who’ll compete in the Olympics. I know, I know, you’re going to say they look fabulous and make accomplishments look so easy. In general they work hard and most experience setbacks like we all do. I won’t name which athlete said what, but rather I’ll note a variety of comments I think could be adapted by any of us. Beginning with: Setbacks make you appreciate success even more. Take one day at a time. Everyone has something about themselves that makes them feel self-conscious, but everyone also has a hundred more things to be proud of. When you get too comfortable always doing one routine you get stagnant and stuck—life is about learning to become the best version of yourself. Focus on what is in front of you and even break that down into small steps. Stumbling blocks are often the best learning opportunities. Love what you do, because things aren’t always going to go the way you want.

Find a mantra that matters to you. Some that were listed: Stay in the moment. Dare to be… Just have fun with it. Don’t take anything for granted.

I remember someone’s logo is: Just do it!  Is that Nike? It’s a worthy motto for writers, too.

Take time for yourself and recharge. A person can’t be all work and no play. Or you can’t be rigid about a diet and never allow yourself a treat. Build “me time” in your work schedule and don’t feel guilty about needing time to spend with family and friends. Down time allows you to go back to work with a new perspective.

I loved it that one of the ski jumpers said: “I love grabbing a good book and going to my local cafĂ© for a latte.”  I smiled at that, because it’s something I like to do. When we’re in the middle of writing to deadline do we ever stop to think that what we’re writing may be the destressor in another person’s hectic life? A snowboarder and four-time medalist said: “Lounging around and reading is a good destressor.”

So, hey, while we’re not world-class athletes, what we do is valuable. And all of us have a lot in common. Daily grind is daily grind. Outside stressors can and do weigh us down at times and can interrupt our course. Rather than make a long list of New Year’s resolutions maybe just acknowledge that you’re amazing in multiple areas of your busy lives. And face each day knowing you have in you exactly what it takes to succeed.


  1. Very sage advice, Roz! Great points.

  2. What a nice sentiment (when I'm pushing through a deadline)! Thanks for the reminder, Roz

  3. Thanks from me, too, who is rewriting the beginning of my next book for the third time. Deadline for 3 chaps and outline is 2/1 and I'm having the darndest time. Am trying to trust in the creative process, but I think it's sleeping in. I know it's in there somewhere, I just have to relax and let it surface. Thanks for reminding me to do that.

  4. I'm with you. I think those long lists never work - they cause guilt, frustration and anxiety. How can people possibly lose weight -- the #1 resolution each new year--help the homeless, make friends, be a better friend etc, etc, all at once?? I'm vowing just to "do better." I've fallen behind in my reading, so I'm going to read more. Just finished The Imposter Wife and loved it. I'm going to worry less about marketing. It sounds suicidal, but it really stresses me out. So, no more. In essence, just do better.

  5. I'm so glad to see that some of you agree with my assessment on making "impossible" resolutions. I think people think they have to be grand, but then they prove unrealistic. I think we're all pretty darned amazing the way we are.

    1. Hi Roz, Great advice. The way I look at the lists is that they are a reminder to help me stay on track. I don't freak out when I don't meet my goals, but I need to keep reminding myself to try for them. smile. No stress allowed though. That makes wrinkles.

  6. I like to think it's a sign of wisdom when we substitute more realistic, gentle plans for glorious and wide-sweeping resolutions. It's fun having SOMEthing new each January, and I just found mine yesterday -- supposedly standing on one foot for 20 seconds a day means you'll always have better balance. Sounds like just enough effort! :)

  7. Aha! So the last two ladies like having a list to start their new year. And Laurie, I'm picturing the pink flamingos at our zoo. But I'm sure they stand on one leg way longer than 20 seconds. It must work, because they and storks have great balance.

  8. I've tried New Year's resolutions and broken them repeatedly. Now I set goals not tied to the big day and I have more success in achieving them...I always knew I was a little different than everyone else. I guess it's whatever works for a person...but I love "Just Do It!"

  9. Thanks for this great reminder, Roz! I'm on a Feb deadline now and feeling the pressure so I really needed to read that :) I like the part about taking it one day at a time. My step-father, a son of a dairy farmer, had lots of great saying like that that I rolled my eyes at when a teenager, but now, as a middle-aged women, they sure do make a lot of sense!

  10. I'm a list maker. LOL, I also just mapped out my writing commitments between now and August of 2015. I color coded every book and drew lines between proposals and book due dates. Being organized is exhausting and usually doesn't work.


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