There are two kinds of people:

A.Those who make New Year’s Resolutions

B. Those who don’t.

The smart ones, like my husband, are in category B. They don’t set themselves up for failure.  He just makes “To Do” lists every week or so and methodically checks them off. On the other hand, every New Year’s Day I sit with pen and journal, going through an excruciating self-inventory, praying and pondering my New Year’s Resolutions.  Dallas relaxes with a book across the room,  now and then giving me a knowing smile (actually a smirk).

It’s a good news/bad news process. I feel so inspired – a clean slate! A new chance to finally become the person I want to be. Thin of course,  always on time, never interrupting others, my home neatly organized, never losing my keys, cell phone or glasses, amazingly thoughtful of others,  and a whole slew of other aspirations to turn me into the efficient yet gracious, loving person I want to be.. The bad news: if I looked at my journals for previous years, I would find the very same resolutions! Good grief.. I could skip the whole ordeal and just put ditto marks under them.

Of course you know what happens. By mid-January I’ve  broken my lofty resolutions, my prayers are mostly apologies to God,  and a Dr. Phil voice asks in my head,  “How is it working for you?”

But good news!

I have found perfect help for all of  us “Resolution Makers” in Category A.. I bought a new wall calendar at Office Depot, and on the Janujary page I found these shining words of wisdom:  “KEEP CALM AND SET NEW GOALS.”  Did you notice? Goals, not resolutions! I felt lighter when I read it. Somehow there seemed a huge difference between the two. To understand why,  I looked up the dictionary definitions.

“To resolve” means “to deal with successfully.” A resolution means you must succeed. No wriggle room for stumbling along the way. It seems grim, stern, hard-edged. No wonder when we break our resolutions (which as humans we’re bound to do) we often give up altogether.

On the other hand, my dictionary says a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed.”  I love that! A goal is the direction you want to go. It’s  inspiring, inviting, user-friendly. To set a goal is to hitch your wagon to a star, follow your dream. Goals don’t get “broken” like resolutions. We can hold fast to them. When the scales stay stuck on an awful number, when my desk is invisible under clutter, or I blurt out a remark while my friend is talking, my goals help me renew my efforts and keep trying.

What a relief. Forget making New Year’s Resolutions. Just set some goals, aim toward them, and enjoy a wonderful, very “Happy New Year.”



  1. Oh Nancy, we are thrilled to be able to read ANYTHING from you. We have missed your column so much, I still have many of them that I cut out of the newspaper. I love keeping up with y’all on FB. Love and hugs,
    Diane and Bibb


    1. Joy, have I “replied” to you? I am in a total fog about all of this stuff, but anyway I THANK you for writing, and hope I’ve connected back with you. I hear you are in on Patty’s birthday celebration…..there is only one Patty!!! I hope we can relax and enjoy it after our stint is over! She said she’s putting you, me, and Barbara Hood at the first, thank goodness!! love you, Nancy


    1. Goodness me, Cathy, how did I get into this??? I think it will be fun but right now it’s just hard….because I don’t know how to do anything. Patty and Dixie are so great at tutoring me but i am SOOO dumb technically at all of it. hope by now I have “approved’ my favorite DIL…and if I haven’t replied yet, I hope this goes through. Thank you for your love and your support in this weired and wild endeavour!! By the way, can you email nme a snail mail address for your parents in Fla? I’m so slow with Christmas thank you notes I haven’t written them and they are already snow birds. Thank you for YOUR sweet note. Love you, your Favorite MIL


    1. Carole, i am so dumb at all this so far I don’t know if I’ve replied to you or not. I loved it that you wrote me. Thank you! . Also, we just loved getting Libby’s Christmas card and the picture of your family. For sure she has yours and pat’s wonderful dry sense of humor. I hope I’ll get around to answering her but if not please tell her what a nice January surprise that was! Love to you and Pat, Nancy


  2. I will look forward to each and every blog! You are and always have been a joyous encourager…”a warm fuzzy from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.” I love you and yours!


    1. You are such a dear, and always make me feel happy to be around you. Thanks for YOUR encouragement. Dixie and Patty are trying hard to teach me the technical stuff. Thanks for reading. love, Nancy


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