Life

10 New Year’s Resolutions I’ve Made in Years Past

I no longer make New Year’s Resolutions because they never tend to work out. But when I did make them, here are some popular favorites.

This far into January, if you’re still keeping your New Year’s Resolutions, you’re doing much better than the average person.

Research says January 12 is the date by which the majority of people abandon those well-intentioned promises.

I gave up on them quite a few years ago because they never seemed to accomplish anything. Maybe that’s a failure of willpower. Or maybe, in some cases, I decided to set my goals too high. (You’ll certainly see examples of that in this list.)

1. Lose 100 pounds over the next 12 months.

Yes, this one was destined to fail unless some sort of gastric surgery was involved. But the year I made it, I was serious. (I don’t know that this one even made it as far as Jan. 12.

2. Read the entire Bible in a year.

Like most people, I dropped off around Numbers, a brutal chapter for anyone who sets out to read the good book from cover to cover.

I’ve tried programs that are designed to get you through the Bible in 12 months. But my problem with them is that they have readings in four different sections of the Bible for every day — Old Testament and New Testament. I’d much rather try reading chronologically than jumping around back and forth.

3. Clean up my home and keep it clean.

I’m a packrat. My parents are packrats, too, so at least I got it honestly. There are times when I get in a mood to “do something” about my “packrattyness” but generally, that doesn’t stay around longtime. After all, letting things stack up is so much easier.

4. Lose 50 pounds over the next 12 months.

Conventional wisdom tells us it’s probably the healthiest to plan on losing no more than two to three pounds, on average, per month. So a reasonable resolution might be to shoot for losing 25 pounds over the next year. (That is, unless you’ve scheduled some sort of aforementioned gastric bypass surgery.)

It’s no surprise that this one bit the dust, too.

5. Go to the gym at least four times a week.

I once had a trainer I’d hired assure me that if you went to the gym religiously a set number of days per week for a full month, it’d become a habit.

It was the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. I went those three or four times per week, dutifully, keeping track of my exercise and progress so I could report it to him the once-per-week sessions with him.

The fifth week, I came down with a sinus infection, so I missed a day at the gym. Missing that one day was enough to kill the “habit” once and for all.

So much for that.

6. Save an Extra $1,000.

I’ve been semi-successful at this one, but only because I designate a portion of my salary, via direct deposit, to divert to a savings account. I haven’t been able to build it up as much as I’d like, unfortunately, because, well, life happens.

And oddly enough, whenever I get close to reaching that goal, here comes a major calamity.

In the past week, for example, my car battery died to the tune of $150 for a replacement. (Seriously, when did car batteries jump past $100?!?) The day before the battery gave up the ghost, my washing machine died in the middle of a wash cycle. A new washing machine, in case you hadn’t guessed, is much more expensive than a new car battery.

But suffice it say that I essentially had to spend that $1,000 in just two days.

7. Give up soft drinks.

I don’t think I ever reached the point of being 100% serious about this one. I have managed to take 30-day fasts from soft drinks, but water doesn’t hold its appeal for all that long.

Diet Coke is my favorite, although I can get by with Ginger Ale. I’m just not a fan of nothing but water.

8. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables.

I’ve had my moments, but it’s difficult to maintain this for very long. Fresh produce, unfortunately, is much more expensive than less healthy canned or prepackaged items. When you have a tight budget, it sometimes means the healthier options are off the table…literally.

I’ve tried to cut down on fast food, which does free up extra money for healthier treats like apples or oranges. And every fall, I indulge in a few pomegranate salads that include fresh spinach greens, pomegranate arils, cheese, lemon dressing and toasted walnuts.

I just need to make a better commitment year-round for a greater variety of fresh foods.

9. Travel.

There are a list of places I’d like to visit, and many of them aren’t that far away. But then I’ll have such a crazy week that by the time the weekend rolls around, all I want to do on Saturday and Sunday is to lie on the couch and rest. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either.)

Last year, I tried to attend a couple of WordPress WordCamp events. The problem is that the ones closest to me had schedules that mostly didn’t contain enough sessions that I wanted to sit through to make the trip justifiable.

Maybe 2019 will be the year I attend another WordCamp!

10. Get Further Ahead of Schedule on This Blog.

This one, so far, isn’t going quite as well as I want it to, but I’m slowly making progress. As I said earlier this month, I’d like to reach a point of being at least one week ahead of schedule with this blog. I reached that point — and beyond it — back in October. Doing so actually helped a great deal over the holidays.

But it’s easy to lose that advantage if you don’t work hard to keep it.

So we’ll see if I can at least keep this one going through the year.


What’s the most successful New Year’s Resolution you ever made?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.