On Upcoming New Year’s Resolutions

In previous years, I’ve been that person who either rolls her eyes at making resolutions, or I’ve been gung ho in the cliche resolution camp. I want to lose 50 pounds, write a novel, and travel to Europe! Great! Let’s go!

This year, I say fuck that, not only to resolutions that are divorced from my true sense of self, but also to the refusal to assess where I am, recalibrate, and set forth with new goals in mind. If the world’s going to end this year, or if we’re just (more likely) moving into a time without the guidance of the Mayan calendar with us, I want to be prepared to move thoughtfully in the direction of what’s important.

If your year in 2011 was anything like the year most of the people I know had, it was hard as shit but came out very slightly better than it began. I want to continue that generally upward trend this next year, first by renewing my own commitment to my health. I want to eat delicious food that nourishes my body, and eat plenty of it. I want to physically move my body in ways I find invigorating and restorative. I want to sleep plenty, breathe deeply, check in on some minor medical issues instead of postponing them. I want to have plenty of sex, find positive measures of stress relief, and enjoy the sunshine when it’s out. I want to make sure I walk my dog daily and talk to family. In short, I want to be healthy.

I also want to give back to the communities that have sustained me through the rough patches. I want to support my local library, with donations or volunteer hours or whatever means I can find to reasonably give to them. I want to invest in explicit, intentional acts of kindness to the people I encounter everyday: coworkers, baristas, bus drivers, whatever. I want to spend my money in meaningful ways, not the least of which would be buying gifts for my friends from other, entrepreneurial friends. I have a friend who sells incredible organic, herbal teas. I have another friend who sells hand-stitched home decor and eco-friendly dryer sachets. One of the editors here at Persephone is a glass artisan and is working on setting up her own online shop. I know amazing, creative, motivated, ambitious people with wonderful things to share with the world. I want to spend my money, which I believe is a form of energy, supporting their work.

In 2012, I’m also getting married, and I have long been dreading the family dynamics, financial drain, and emotional stresses that seem to arise naturally around weddings. At least, most of the ones I’ve attended in the past. For mine, I’m resolving: none of that. We’ve planned ahead and given ourselves plenty of time that our wedding should not be a dramatically stressful situation financially. We are making a concerted effort to communicate to our loved ones how important their feelings are to us, and have asked for their input to make the event a positive one for them, too. I’m resolving to act with respect, listen before speaking, keep calm, and enjoy the shit out of my wedding day. Come to that, it’s not a bad way to interact with family all year round.

Finally, I resolve to spend more time on the things that bring me pleasure (my relationship with the dude, working here on this site with all of you amazing people, reading the shit out of a ton of books, playing tug-o-war with my dog, cooking up a storm when life is stormy) and less time dwelling on shit that I find mundane or draining. Life’s short anyway, and if the Mayans weren’t just out of calendar space, we’ve only got about twelve months left to make the most of it. I intend to.

Regardless of the timing, do you have intentions and resolutions for your upcoming days? Or, have you made any recently? Tell me about them in the comments.

By Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

17 replies on “On Upcoming New Year’s Resolutions”

I suppose my number one resolution should be to work on my pessimism.  It has infiltrated every aspect of my life and has a tendency to squash good thoughts.

Another good resolution for me is to start exercising again, and listening to my body and making sure I don’t overdo it.

Working on pessimism is hard, but I feel you. And it’s worthwhile work. I wish you the greatest success!

I’m trying to exercise more, definitely. I have a tendency to go straight to the couch when I get home from work, because I’m tired or just done, but I don’t feel better for sitting for another 5 hours when I get home.

If your year in 2011 was anything like the year most of the people I know had, it was hard as shit but came out very slightly better than it began.

yes – that.  and for me, one of the things that helped me get thru was reminding myself of the positives.  so:  resolutions are 1) try to see the positive more often, 2) listen more, and 3) be less self-involved.

glad to hear you’re doing that one, too!  it seems that we’re encouraged to respond (social media, i’m looking at you) by so many sources/triggers, that it spills over into regular conversations, and they end up feeling very unidirectional.  hoping to change that.

Typical resolutions don’t work out well for me–but since NaNo really did, I decided to have a “resolution” for each month, and then hopefully what I do/learn will carry over past that month.  I’m going to be reading lots of nonfiction, learning graphics editing and Excel, editing the NaNo project, translating, eating better, running a 10k, building professional relationships, exploring the outdoors, working on curriculum design, discovering new music, NaNoing, and reading and writing poetry.

Also, finding a full-time job and re-connecting with friends (which are things for the whole year).


A monthly resolution is brilliant. Confession: I typically make more resolutiony-resolutions at my birthday every year instead of at the new year (my birthday is in August), so I tend to create a reading list at that time and list a few new things I want to learn to do, also. That said, I love the idea of a monthly goal that you can build on. Seems smart to me!

If your year in 2011 was anything like the year most of the people I know had, it was hard as shit but came out very slightly better than it began.

Oh goodness, yes.

Regardless of the timing, do you have intentions and resolutions for your upcoming days? Or, have you made any recently?

I was thinking about this earlier, I have a necklace which has “laugh often, love much” stamped onto silver, and that’s pretty much my intention for the coming year. I intend to have a good year, in whatever little ways I can. I wrote the other week about taking care of myself and I really, really am wanting to focus on that and as part of that resolution (seriously!) I bought myself gorgeous new pyjamas (didn’t hurt that they were in the sale) because I know that it will do more for my mind to have that little something special, which makes me that little more relaxed and in turn, happier and more motivated. Considerably happier than trying to set a goal which isn’t going to be achieved, that’s for sure.

Have to say, this was a gorgeously refreshing article to read about resolutions.

Oh jeepers, so late to this. The pyjamas have been a fantastic start and apart from ‘ordinary’ stresses, I am, at the same time, feeling more … relaxed. More comfortable?

In recent days, taking care of myself has taken the turn of allowing myself the time to look at our finances. I know that doesn’t sound relaxing, but being able to sort of give myself permission to look at things without any specific agenda or cause to panic but to look it over and talk about things with the other half, without there being panic or stress behind it, has actually meant I feel less stressed as a result.

(And that reply seems about as coherent as the spaghetti i’m cooking. Eep!)

2011 as “hard as shit but came out very slightly better than it began” is an apt description.  My first semester of grad school was characterized by extreme highs and lows.  Now that I know I can survive, my goal this year is just to be more balanced.  I would like to exercise consistently without care for weight loss.  I would like to drink only in moderation.  I want to learn how to make grown up food for myself that does not come from the 7/11 across the street.  I intend to sleep regularly and spend my awake hours being productive, ideally writing every day.  If I can achieve that kind of balance by the end of next semester, I will be stoked.

If you search the Persephone archives for “recipes,” there are a bollocksload of quick, easy, varied, real grown up recipes for you to try. Most of them are easy to follow and several of them are clever as hell. If you’re really brave, you can even try out the Morbid Curiosity ones. :) Best wishes in your goals! They sound incredible.

I sort of hermitized myself in 2011, something I did deliberately as a reaction to spreading myself too thin in 2010 and resenting all the commitments I couldn’t get out of.  I’ve come to realize, however, that I probably took it too far.  It became way too easy for me to say ‘no’ to invitations or dates or just random happy hours, so there haven’t been enough of those occasions when I just had fun.

So, that’s my resolution this year is to find the happy medium between accepting everything and saying no to everything.

Oh, and lose 20 lbs., world peace, cure for the common cold, yadda yadda yadda.

I am thinking of trying to actually make friends here in San Francisco. Now that we’ve been here for a year, and I only have a few acquaintances, I’d like to push through that and see what I can do to create real friendships here. It’s hard! But I think it’s worthwhile. Finding balance in social engagements is really tough (like Sara said, it does seem to be all-or-nothing sometimes), but I know you can do it. :) Cheers!

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