Resolutions – It’s That Time

Resolutions. You don’t hear that word very much from February through December do you? I mean seriously, how often does it come up in our everyday conversation? Not that much I would venture to guess. Yet every year about now that word is floating around in all types of arenas. You hear about it at work, among friends, in families, in articles. (You’re reading one.) The tradition is not exclusive for any race, ethnic group, age, culture, or gender in the United States. Actually most people have heard of New Year’s Resolutions since childhood. Even if you don’t participate, you are familiar with the idea.


New Year's Resolution

Resolutions – What Do We Even Mean?

Cambridge DIctionary defines a resolution as “a promise to yourself to do or not to do something.”  That sounds like a good thing, right? Here is a list of the 50 Top New Year’s Resolution Ideas and How to Achieve Them. You might want to check it out, but before you take a peek, read on. We have some great ones of our own later on.

Resolutions might mean to rid yourself of a bad habit. Like being late to appointments. Or pressing the snooze button. Sometimes they help you improve something you are already doing just “so-so” but not super great. Read more books. Have regular devotions. Or 3. they are a commitment to do something new that would be beneficial. For example volunteering regularly. Or taking a yoga class. Maybe, buying free range eggs. (you knew I’d throw that one in, didn’t you!)

Not Universally Popular

Looking at resolutions in light of the above meanings, makes you wonder why all the negative dialogue? “I don’t do resolutions because it’s just a setup for failure.” Or “Why make resolutions? You aren’t really going to keep them.” Or, “Just a trite, old fashioned custom. Not for me.” But does it have to be that way? Do resolutions have a place in our lives? Is there any value? Can they be effective? If you truly have growth in mind, I think so. Let’s consider it.

Obviously resolutions spoken spontaneously, in the moment, with little thought and no plan or accountability, have very little chance of producing results. Consequently, they could work, but likely won’t. It’s kind of a stab in the dark. Let’s call those “FBN” resolutions. Fly by night. “This year I am really going to be healthier.”  Or “ I’m done being glued to my phone.” Or “ yep, I’m gonna lose weight this year.” Or “no more Mr. Nice guy. I’m going to stop being a doormat and stand up to people.” Spoken on New Year’s eve, by February these are often forgotten. 

Group Resolutions That Work

Resolutions in line with your values, and conceived out of conviction, or purpose-driven, have a greater chance of positive results. Coupled with a plan and accountability they can be springboards for growth. Our company, Nature’s Yoke, has a set of values to which each of us individually and corporately are committed. We have those in writing here. The core values are: Integrity, Stewardship, Excellence, Family, and Eternal Perspective. As a company we regularly set goals and we make sure proposed changes align with our values. Recently we have spent months of research and planning on some “resolutions” and changes we are committing to, involving stewardship of our planet. These resolutions are worth setting because they align with who we are. Coupled with much forethought, there is a plan for success, and there is accountability. Consequently, success is highly likely.

FBN vs PPD

It can work the same in an individual’s life. Remember we talked about Fly By Night resolutions having a slim chance of success? Conversely “PPD” goals have a great chance of success. I’m calling them Planned Purpose-Driven resolutions. They line up with who we really are, or desire to be as a person. They coordinate with the trajectory of our lives. In addition they include, or will soon include, a plan to make them work. Even a vague goal such as “ I am going to be kinder this year” can be broken into mini-steps such as: “I’ll offer to help  with the dishes in the evening before anyone asks.” Afterwards you can work on “I will choose someone at the office that doesn’t seem to fit in, and make daily efforts to connect with him.” This way you put some shoe leather to the more vague “be kind” idea.

So what about health goals? These are very commonly made resolutions – and unfortunately very commonly broken. Sorry to say they are often Fly By Night. Maybe “eating healthy” resolutions could be broken up by months. Adding a new healthy habit each month is so much more attainable than changing everything in one day. Let’s see what monthly planning looks like. 

Sample Plan for Healthy Eating Part One

For the month of January I am going to add more color to my diet. (Nope. Ketchup doesn’t count. We’re talking about blueberries, spinach, yellow peppers, beets.) Then in February I will purchase a new water bottle (64 ounce and reusable) and replace other drinks with good ‘ole H2O. By March I’m already feeling better with more color and more water. Now, I’m going to switch to free range meats and eggs, and be watchful of added hormones or chemicals. April? I’m adding more fish after I do my research on mercury and sourcing. Next, in May – cut sugars and use natural sweeteners (maple sugar, monk fruit locally sourced honey, back strap molasses) in limited qualities. June – add more raw foods. Concentrate on salads, fruits, and vegetables in their raw state. 

Sticking Out the Plan

It’s already the second half of the year. As a result of my baby steps, I’m still on target with my resolution! July can be my eat locally sourced foods month. August can be my add more nuts and seeds month. (raw or dry roasted, again in small amounts.)  Here is a great compilation of healthy nuts and how to include them without gaining weight. September could be add more movement to my life. Because it’s very intertwined with our eating. Burns calories, helps with digestion and absorption. Check it out. October – learn to eat more root vegetables like turnips, rutabagas, fennel. Try these beauties. November- make sure I am eating healthy sources of fat like eggs, avocados, salmon, full fat yogurt, etc. Finally in December? Come up with three healthy appetizers for parties. Wow. I did it! I changed my life. In 12 months. A step at a time.

Breaking our goals down into achievable bits is one way that resolutions can translate into growth. And growth – daily and yearly – is essential for all of us. Growth enhances our lives and can help us more actively and genuinely affect others. 


Set a new goal

So Many Options

What other resolutions can flop if approached from the FBN, or soar if treated like PPD? Well, here are some great ideas that have the potential to fail, or to be easily broken down in parts and produce change and personal growth. See if any ignite a spark. 


Less Complaining More Rejoicing. Becoming a Better Listener. Expanding My Food Options. Making a New Friend. Exploring More Parks. Cultivating Gratitude. Supporting Local Businesses. Less Screen More Reading. Considering Opinions that Aren’t My Own. Learning from Older People. Grow Out My Fingernails. Teach Someone Something You Know. Learn a New Skill. Less Netflix More Family Games. Sharpen Your Mind with Cognitive Apps.

Or How About…….

Build Your Vocabulary. Learn a Language. Be a Better Neighbor. Write Letters. Call Your Mom More Regularly. Tell People You Love Them. Spend More Time Outside. Sleep in Pajamas. Go Green. Laugh More. Find Some Worthy Heroes. Take Long Walks. Speak Highly of Others. Make Smoothies. Practice Mindfulness. Look More Zaddy – More Snatched. Get Woke to Terms Like Zaddy and Snatched. Or Stop Using Those Terms. Ha ha It’s your resolution.

Still haven’t found yours? Teach Your Dog Tricks. Read Your Bible. Watch Documentaries. Learn to Tap Dance. Plant an Herb Garden. Find More Free Activities. Less Self Promoting More Complimenting Others. Notice More Small Things. Take up the Ukulele, Refuse Gossip. Read a Broader Segment of the News. Or Stop Reading the News. Find a Cause and Devote Your Year to Supporting It. Stop Complaining About Adulting and Just Flow with It. Switch to Organic Vegetables. Make your Own Salad Dressings. Tell Memorable Stories about Your Parents or Grandparents. Cuddle with Children. Color. Save Money for a Great Project. Get Out of Your Box. Give People Gifts for No Reason. 

Seize the Opportunity and Take the Plunge

My 2020 goals

It doesn’t matter as much what you choose. More importantly, it matters more why you choose it and how you plan to implement steps towards success. 

So a better title would have been “FBN or PPD – which resolutions do you choose?” Instead of tossing out the idea of resolutions altogether, why not make thoughtful decisions and execute a feasible plan. Because We Choose Growth! 

Happy New Year from Nature’s Yoke.