Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Making Resolutions You Won’t Regret by Rhonda Frankhouser


My 2019 New Year’s Resolutions
1.      Lose 50 pounds - failed
2.      Exercise more - failed
3.      Save money - failed
4.      Eat better - failed
5.      Stop drinking soda - failed
6.      Visit family more - failed

Does this list look familiar? Are you, like me, one of the 65% of people who set unattainable resolutions every new year? Why do we do this to ourselves? Where did this wicked tradition come from, anyway?

A little history…
Resolutions made at the new year originated nearly 4000 years ago in ancient Babylonia. Making promises such as resolving debt and returning borrowed items, were thought to gain the favor of the gods. Babylonian’s set such goals as a way to honor and reaffirm their loyalty to god and king.

For most, resolutions have evolved from the original ideal of appeasing the gods to self-improvement. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. We all need encouragement to live our best life, but what happens when we set our goals too high?  

The reality of setting lofty goals…
I heard a statistic that proclaimed 80% of New Year’s Resolutions will fail by February. If we KNOW these lifestyle changes will help us in the long run, why do we fall off the wagon so quickly? Do we expect too much of ourselves or are we focusing on the wrong things?

As I grow older, I realize resolutions shouldn’t be so negative and punishing. Why not strive for personal growth and calmness, instead? Being at peace and nurturing your soul, generally breeds a sense of health and wellness, does it not? If we take a more spiritual approach to choosing resolutions, maybe some of the physical goals from the original, lofty list will come to us, not because of some unreasonable demand, but rather as a happy consequence of living a more fulfilled life.

So, I’ve decided to concentrate on different things this year. My list now reads as follows…

My 2020 New Year’s Resolutions
1.      Cherish my husband & be thankful for our life together.
2.      Take 20 deep breaths every morning, overlooking the Georgia pines in my backyard.
3.      Read new authors and connect with writer’s groups in Gwinnett County.
4.      Explore nature and visit more historical sites – Maybe hike Stone Mountain?
5.      Have some ‘no phone time’ every single day.
6.      Journal about new adventures exploring the South.
7.      Sample new foods – Atlanta, and the surrounding cities, host amazing restaurants with foods from all around the world!
8.      Hand write letters to family and friends!
9.      Donate unused items to a favorite charity. Mine is any animal shelter or homeless center.
10.  Give undivided attention to my dogs every day. They are a gift!
11.  Host a social gathering each month to reconnect with friends and neighbors.

Now these New Year’s resolutions, I can keep. They encourage a sense of gratitude and a way to learn more about myself, without the self-loathing that comes along with failed goals. 

Life is too short to treat yourself poorly. Why not try a new approach? What do you have to lose? I wish you and yours a fabulous 2020, filled with positive, enlightening experiences and unconditional love.

Rhonda Frankhouser is an award-winning novelist, now living in the beautiful state of Georgia.  Follow her at


Julie Lence said...

Fascinating piece of history, Rhonda. Glad you shared. I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. I never stuck to them. I think it's because people get bored, especially if they're doing something alone, such as dieting or exercising. I think if people did those 2 things with a partner they'd have more success. Just my 2 cents, lol.

Rhonda Frankhouser Books said...

Accountability and camaraderie definitely help us in every aspect of our lives, especially resolutions. Thanks for sharing, Julie. 🤗

Alicia Haney said...

I agree, I don't make New years resolutions either, I never went through with them. This what you have written is a much much better approach. Thank you so much. God Bless you.

Rhonda Frankhouser Books said...

Thank you Alicia. I believe we spend far too much time and effort causing our own pain. It’s time to love ourselves more.

Dorothy Wiley said...

I loved this! Great idea~