“I Once Had Promises to Keep”: Six Takes On the New Year

We’re nearly two weeks into 2017; how are your resolutions going?

Whether you’ve jumped right into a laundry list of goals, already let some drop, eschew resolutions entirely, or are somewhere in the middle, these six bloggers’ approaches to the new year will give you something to think about, chew on, and laugh at.

New Years Blogging Resolution,” Elizabeth Spiers

Tempted to pooh-pooh resolutions altogether? Writer Elizabeth Spiers makes a great case for why having a specific day to renew and commit to goals is useful.

You don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because the other days don’t matter, but because appreciating your significant other by carving out time specifically for that is often lost in the day-to-day. Being prompted to create some goals and frameworks for improving quality of life is useful because it’s hard to step back, evaluate, and plan, when we’re insanely busy and stressed.


Not sure what to resolve to do this year? Try this handy-dandy resolution generator from Jon Atkinson at Wrong Hands. “Avoid quoting ABBA during Civil War re-enactments” seems eminently achievable!

My Theme for 2017,” Down the Road

For some, specific resolutions aren’t helpful or appealing. That’s why Jim Grey takes another approach, giving 2017 a theme to guide him as he makes decisions and moves through the year, rather than setting resolutions that focus on specific actions.

I think a lot about who I am versus who I want to be. Some might call it navel gazing, but self-analysis is core to who I am.

Yet I want to remain open to the road ahead so I can take the interesting turns as they come. And they always come! So I avoid new year’s resolutions and I don’t set hard goals. Instead, I set direction. And I follow it generally, always scanning the road ahead for opportunity or need to alter course.


In “First Bird,” by Margaret Renkl at Nature Is What We See, a robin pauses to take a dip. Among birding enthusiasts, the first bird you spot on New Year’s Day becomes your symbol for the year. This year, Margaret’s is the common but joyful robin — fittingly, an emblem of renewal.

Untitled (Last Year’s Resolutions),” Björn Rudberg’s Writings

Not everyone is looking ahead. In this short, melancholy poem, Björn Rudberg ably sums up the realization that 2016’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside, like so many resolutions before — although he still manages to end on a positive note.

I once had promises to keep
but at least
I didn’t start to smoke.

My Retroactive 2016 New Year’s Resolutions,” Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Not ready to commit to anything for 2017? No 2016 resolutions to look back on? For Peg, that’s no problem. She tries a new take on resolutions in a funny and gently self-deprecatory post.

Right about now, a lot of you are thinking of ways to improve yourself in the coming year; in other words, you’re making your 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Bad idea. Nobody keeps those for more than a week — two weeks, tops — so you’re setting yourself up for certain failure. If we’ve learned nothing else in the last 10 years, it’s that aiming high breeds winners, but also creates the possibility that there will be losers. That must be avoided at all costs in the interest of building self-esteem.

In the same spirit as abolishing class ranking and giving participation trophies, I propose everyone make their resolutions AFTER the year is over.  That way our goals are more realistic. I’ve been doing it this way for years and my levels of self-esteem and self-love have never been higher.

Want to read more? Find recommended blogs for any interest and viewpoint on our topics page, and see how other bloggers are starting to fill the blank book that is 2017.

January 12, 2017Personal Musings, Poetry, , , ,