Grace Michaelson

New Years, Healthy Choices or Resolutions


Last year I wrote a “feel good” piece that ended up being published in Argus Leader.  My point of that article was the insanity brought on by creating resolutions that you know you’re going to break.  I implored you to take a look at your beautiful page called 2016 and come up with truths to put on it that are healthy and strong, instead of weak resolutions that you’ll want to scribble away or tear off your year after you fail.  How did you do?

Already my Facebook feed is filling up with posts about people getting excited about their new year, the plans they have, and the resolutions they are making.  I’m just as tempted as the rest of you.  Last night I was having a particularly discouraging night, so I poured out in my journal a bucket list of things I would love to see change in the new year.  The thing is, I know better than to turn those wishes into resolutions because I know how disappointing it is to put my heart and soul into a resolution only to fail to make it come into being.

We can’t force changes into our lives, they have to happen naturally.  Even if you don’t believe in God like I do, you have to believe in the practicality of the fact that your life is impacted by the people who surround you.  If they don’t choose to change with you, then you’re life isn’t going to change easily.  That leaves an interesting dynamic and choice right there.  Do I choose contentment in the life I have now, or do I let change happen by moving on from relationships that keep me stagnate?  Either choice may be a right one for you.

Resolutions simply don’t allow for healthy choices, in fact, they stunt your ability to make these natural choices.  Resolutions cause sharp disappointments which bring choices up abruptly and stunt the ability for life to move forward.  An “I can’t” attitude can move in, and instead of freedom to make good choices, you can be beset by fear that you will only make a bad choice again.  After all the resolution was a bad choice, right?  Why should you even allow the possibility of that disappointment in the first place?

I’m writing about broken resolutions and their ability to stunt choices before it can make any real changes in your life.  I don’t know how you believe, or who you live and work with, but I know you can think about it and avoid those resolutions.  Let change happen naturally.  Have a wonderfully Happy New Year.

Those Unhappy New Year’s Resolutions!




New Year’s feels like a fresh start. I know how you feel. A new lease on life. A new chance to start over. You’ve turned the page over and covered up the scribbled up page of 2015 and now you have this nice clean page labeled “2016” and suddenly you have this surge of energy and the first thing that pops into your head is all the things you want to change from that scribbled up page called “2015”. Oh, no, no, no, Girl… that’s the mistake you made from all the other scribbled up pages called 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012… Well, you get the picture. Those unhappy New Year’s resolutions cannot be the first thing you write on this beautiful new year you have in front of you. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath and step back from the page and let’s think about what would be the best thing to write first.

Hmmm… Let’s talk first about what a new year’s resolution is not. It’s not a new start. It’s not a new beginning. It’s not a new thought. If it were a new start, you wouldn’t have started those same resolutions last year.

A start denotes the idea that it was never tried before. It denotes the idea that you have been empowered. It denotes the idea that you are not trapped in a circular idea of insanity. There is a saying that goes like this: The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again expecting a different result.” Here’s a new definition for a new year’s resolution: Doing the same new year’s resolution over and over again expecting a different result.

A new beginning sounds like it’s the same as a fresh start, but I see it as more than a start. It goes on longer than just the start. It gives you the assurance that the start will continue. The beginning is something deep in your heart that says, “This is permanent. This is final. This is forever.” Let’s face it. We all make new year’s resolutions with the intent to break them. Then we feel miserable. Cross, scribble, or rip them off our year’s once beautifully white page and then our year’s page is tainted and not white anymore. Wouldn’t you rather put things on your page that is permanent and healthy? Something that will truly give you a healthy new beginning?

Finally, a new year’s resolution is not a new thought. This one is the most obvious. This year’s resolutions are the exact resolutions you made least year, aren’t they? And the one’s you made the year before? So obviously you need to come up with a way to empower yourself to do these things without making them resolutions. They are obviously things you want, or you wouldn’t make them fruitless wishes that never come true.

Now that we’ve burned up those unhappy resolutions before we ever made them, let’s look at our still happy beautiful year and think about what we’re going to write on our still beautiful clean sheet. Because obviously we need to start writing on it. We need to write down memories, both happy and sad, we need to write down feelings, both the “bad” ones and the “good” ones, we need to write down the thoughts, the confusing ones, the intelligent ones, the stupid ones, and the everyday ones, and we need to write down so much more. It’s so, so important, though, to start the year out writing down some strong words:

Here’s a few I thoughts for you:

I am a beautiful person

Whoever thinks differently, is missing out on a very special gift

The mirror misses all the greatest things about me

My soul/spirit needs to eat healthier than my body does

You get the picture, see if you can think of somethings to add to your 2016 page. Forget those unhappy resolutions. Be kind to yourself. Love life. Be joyful. Walk away from the toxic. Cling to what is good. Happy New Years!!

Philippians 4:8, 9B (NLT) “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Then the God of peace will be with you.”