STYLE Savvy: Resolving Not to Resolve

"STYLE Savvy: Resolving Not to Resolve" by Lisa Hess (

Via Pixabay (2014), CC0 Public Domain

Last week, I wrote about how much I enjoy my annual New Year’s Day planning session. The truth is, I love goals.

But I hate resolutions.

Resolutions sound so…formal. So daunting.

So often, we feel that New Year’s Resolutions need to be self-improvement plans. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Go to the gym. If these are things we really want to do — things that matter to us and that will bring us joy when we accomplish them — then we should set them as resolutions.

But what if they don’t?

My New Year’s Day goal-setting tradition — the one that gets me ready to leap into a new year — takes place curled up on my living room sofa. It’s a time of contemplation, reflection and planning. A time to acknowledge what went right, what went wrong and what I want to do with the clean slate God has given me in the form of a new year. This approach sends me dancing into the new year, rather than trudging down a path of duty.

St. Matthew tells us that for God, all things are possible. With this in mind, there’s no goal or hope or wish that’s too big to accomplish if we enlist his help.

So go ahead and dream. Aspire. Set goals that are meaningful, goals that bring joy and peace to you and those around you. And then, enlist God’s help in determining the path to reach them, one day at a time.

Daring to dream new ways to use the gifts you’ve been given is so much better than simply making a resolution. If you haven’t already done so, find a time to curl up in your favorite spot and have a chat with God about what he wants for you this year, and what you want for yourself.

Then prayerfully make a plan to make it happen.

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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