Forget Resolutions! Do This Instead.

Yes, I’m jumping on the non-resolution bandwagon. Let me tell you why and what I’m doing instead to inspire and focus my intentions for the New Year.

It all comes down to that word: Resolutions.

When I hear that word, it makes me think of solving a problem. It insinuates that there’s something wrong with me that I need to fix. Sure, I might do well to alter my eating habits or step up my exercise routine or line up my financial ducks a little more straightly, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve done anything wrong.

If you’re anything like me, you end up making variations of the same resolutions year in and year out. You start the year feeling like Sisyphus as you re-solve the problem of getting that boulder up the hill.

The sensation that arises when I think about resolving to do something is forced, like it’s coming from the dreaded shoulds. From outside of me.

I feel like I’m smacking my fist into my palm saying, “By gum, I’m gonna do it if it kills me!” Or like a kid who finally gives in to what his mom’s been harassing him to do for hours: “OK, fine!”

I prefer the word Commitment.

commitment glue

Commitment feels like a choice. It’s a decision to say Yes. When the handsome prince asks for your hand, you have a choice.

Commitment doesn’t guarantee happily ever after. Nor does it require perfection. As I said in a post last year, commitment is the glue that holds you to your decision.

Commitment says, “Things may not have worked out as I planned today, but I’ll be here tomorrow to try again.”

Commitment holds forgiveness.

Where resolutions try to rectify the past, commitment looks forward to the possibility of the future.

So, what am I committing to in 2015?

I’m committed to giving back: People, organizations, the Universe have brought me so much this past year – this past decade, really – it’s high time I return in kind more consistently. It may be a favour or a pay-it-forward consultation. It may be a donation – this year 25% of the Whole Health profits will go to organizations that sustain the earth, education and women in need.

I’m committed to Trust: my Word of the Year. I’ve discovered that for me, the opposite of fear isn’t love as many proclaim. It’s trust. Trusting myself as much as trusting others. Trusting Life. Trust is one of the tools with which we nurture and express love.

Update 2019: Having grown so much from committing to a yearly word, I’ve evolved that process by also becoming intimately familiar with how the word feels in my body, to better act as a compass or a touchstone as I navigate through all the year has to offer. Contact me to learn more. (This year’s word is Be your Self.)

Over to you. Did you make resolutions? Choose a word? What do you want to commit to in 2019? When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.

Click on any (or all!) of the pretty green buttons at the bottom of this page to encourage your friends to commit to themselves this year too!

image by bananaism via

6 thoughts on “Forget Resolutions! Do This Instead.

  1. Hi Cathy! I love how you distinuish resolutions as around fixing the past in some way and commitments as forgiving, letting go of perfection and keep on having another go and forward thinking. There are perennial ones like exercise more, drop a dress size or two, but those are all reframed into daily choices now, and an integral part of my life.

    • Exactly, Farah, there’s always a choice to eat the cookie or the carrots. But if you’ve committed to dropping a dress size, the decision is a no-braniner.

  2. My word for the year is SPACIOUS.

    My brain and life were a bit overcrowded as I exited 2014. O.k. VERY overcrowded. :-p

    I look forward to the spaciousness of 2015.

    Happy New Year, Cathy!

  3. I really agree with your views on making commitments versus resolutions. I prefer commitments, goals, something that will hold through the surprises that life has in store and has more direction than a mere end-point. I love your three commitments in 2015, they all have the feel of moving forward, polishing up, and will affect multiple areas of your life. Great post!

  4. i don’t tend to make resolutions either, cathy. i choose a word (as you have done), which usually embodies my dreams and goals for the upcoming year. if i keep that word uppermost in my mind, i find myself taking the action needed towards what i wish to achieve. (oh, and i agree – trust makes more sense to me as the opposite of fear!)

  5. No resolutions for me. Gave them up a long time ago for many of the same reasons you state here. I prefer to just show up fully wherever I’m called and see what the world has inn store for me when I’m fully present and awake to possibility. I don’t need a stronger work ethic or more willpower or more of anything really. I probably need less.

    Great decision to work with a partner in finance. One of the best decisions I ever made in my business was to invest in a really good bookkeeper who could take care of my finances (Yay Quickbooks!) and keep me very much aware of where my money was going each month. Having a built in accountability partner alone has been worth its weight in gold. (pun intended) Happy New Year, Cathy.

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