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Do You Make a New Year's Resolution?

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

We asked a few staff members about how they handle the New Year's Resolution routine. Here's what they said.

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of setting a New Year's resolution came from? We did too, so we did some digging. According to an excellent article on, the practice started some 4,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. In addition to pledging continuing loyalty to their king, they made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.

Today, most New Year’s resolutions have little to do with religion. Instead of making promises to the gods, most of us make resolutions to ourselves to do better or be better. While as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. That's a pretty terrible track record when you think about it. Maybe that's why some of us resolve NOT to make a New Year's resolution. The success rate for resolving not to make a resolution is probably much higher!

Do you make a New Year's resolution? We asked around the office and it turns out that some of us do and some of us don't. Here's what a few staff members had to say about their annual resolution process (or lack thereof).

Josh Hunter, Public Benefits Specialist

I usually have a major goal or two each year. My main goal for 2024 is to finish law school and crush the bar exam. I am not sure if they are resolutions because it is less about New Year’s and more about achieving a goal. Timing is not the driving factor. A goal can travel across multiple years or pop up in the middle of a year. While I have nothing against New Year’s resolutions, I think they place the emphasis on the wrong part. Is your goal a SMART one (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound)? Do you have a support system, or do you need one for this goal? Is the “want” that drives your goal stronger than your “excuses” to avoid it? All of those answers matter more than the time of year.

Pati Bedwell, Elder Care Coordinator

Sometimes I make resolutions, but not every year. I happen to be resolutionless this year. Instead of making resolutions that I will abandon a few weeks into the new year, I try to make daily

improvements which culminate over time. Some stick and some don’t. Waiting till the new year to make a sweeping change is setting myself up for failure.

Katlyn Green, Elder Care Coordinator

Personally, I don’t make resolutions at New Year’s. I love the sentiment, but I am an all-year-long kind of “GOAL-digger”! I’ve tried the lofty goals of dieting and usually fail within two weeks. Rather, my goal is to be able to be fully present (to stop and smell the roses now and again)

and leave this year with growth and look forward to potential in the next. Sometimes resolutions are made to fix something we deem undesirable – and that can be a good perspective… though it leaves me feeling like I need to be perfect. There are two values that I often discuss with clients professionally that also have great meaning for me personally. The first is that I want to meet people where they are and walk alongside them on the age journey. I love the idea of holding the flashlight as we walk the path together. The second is that those who are involved in the care of another human being can never be perfect, only present. It’s about holding space for quality of life. I like to think that I employ both of these sentiments in my own life as well as give some meaning in the lives of clients.

Sarah Marlett, Life Care Plan Legal Assistant

Do I make a New Year’s Resolution every year? Well, yes and no. This year (and most years), my goal is to be more organized overall, and consider my health more, as well as be more strict about my finances so I can finally buy a house. When I don't make a resolution, it's because I'm afraid I won't stick to it. I hate not following through with a plan.



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