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New Year’s Resolve

by Dr. Randy


Many of us take time to set some resolutions for the coming year. Resolutions are always well-intentioned. At this time of year we may have the opportunity to reflect on our lives, and resolve to do some things differently. Or we may seek to begin some new directions and forge new paths. Whether we keep these resolutions during the year or not, this kind of reflection itself is beneficial.

In general, resolutions have something to do with changing ourselves, becoming a better person – an admirable pursuit. This may take the form of activities that improve our health, eating better, losing weight, getting more exercise, or resolving health problems.  Or resolutions may involve improving our mental well-being, getting out into nature, meditating, reading a book, or studying more. Or they may relate to how we interact with other people in our lives. We may wish to act more kindly, or express more concern and care for others.

Resolutions can arise from self-reflection, self-criticism, or even self-compassion. We all have a tendency to be hard on ourselves (and others). We may want to also consider self-acceptance. Everyone is actually trying their best. We can always muster greater effort, but in the spirit of kindness we may want to also consider what a good job we do. In the midst of resolutions, don’t forget to give yourself credit for your accomplishments and admirable qualities. Just the fact that you want to make a resolution says a lot about your good intentions.

The year ahead will undoubtedly contain opportunities to apply our resolutions and also contain challenges for us to face and overcome. Our resolve will help us face those challenges.

One way to help maintain our resolve is to set an intention for the day. Ask yourself, What is it that I highly value? What do I wish for myself, my loved ones, and the world? Take a few deep breaths and spend a moment thinking about these questions in the morning or during the workday. Then at night review them as well. Just asking these questions can help to maintain your resolve.




  • Venice Longinetti-Scherer

    Starting the morning with a resolve or goal and reflecting at night is a great practice. Viewing ourselves and others as doing their best creates a sense of compassion and empathy.