All About New Year’s Resolutions and Why I Don’t Make Any 

 Originally Written: December 30, 2018

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on October 5, 2019 by Hanna Trafford

New Year’s Resolutions are definitely a tradition, maybe it just makes us feel better that we are actually doing something about things we would like to change.

Then I thought, let’s take a look at the most popular New Year’s resolutions are and give it a thought to see just how many and what types of resolutions we should should make.

I know you are probably wondering if I made some resolutions for 2019, I have to admit that I didn’t. As traditional as it is, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. While New Year’s Resolutions are well intentioned, they also lead to real pressure if you don’t stick to the resolution.

This can spiral out of control into negative feelings, low self esteem and possibly even depression.

My three pieces of advice for Happy New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Take small consistent steps.
  2. Make them attainable.
  3. Be realistic.

Let’s take a look at the 10 Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions and break each one of these down:

1. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Kind of too bad that this needs to be a New Year’s resolution – you should always spend all the time you can – especially with your family.

Personally, I don’t need this one and let me give you a tip: Keep imagining  that you wouldn’t have your family, that they would be gone forever and think what it would feel like and what you would be missing if you couldn’t spend time with them.

In a way I understand that some people need to make a conscious effort to allocate their time to being with their family and friends – I hope it works for them and I hope it will change into something they don’t have to make a resolution for.

2. Get into Better Physical Shape

Again – nice resolution and it is known fact that you need to be truly motivated and in the right emotional state to really mean it.

I didn’t need to make this resolution either – I am motivated and have been for a while now.

As you get older, it really, really becomes harder to lose weight and get into better shape and you have to understand that you have a long trek ahead of you. A really long trek – let’s just call it a permanent trek, because it has to be. Once you get this through your head – making it a resolution is useless.

My motivation? I am facing a major surgery and my desire to get into better shape comes from understanding that I will heal faster and get back into normal life a whole lot faster if I lose weight and get fit.

I’m starting with a 15 minute walk twice per week.

3. Lose Weight

This is the most popular New Year’s resolution, and a good one without an argument!

But also one with a comment: It should really read – change the way you eat, drink and live to make healthy eating a permanent way of your life.

I don’t have to tell you that going on no-eating, deprivation diets is no way to do it. Personally – I have “discovered” the one that works for me – I have joined Jenny Craig program last year and it really helped me!

I have gone off the program couple of time – but guess what? In the process of being on the program, I have learned to control my portions and automatically stay off foods that are definitely no good for me.

So the program changed the way I look at food and all I can say is: Thank You Jenny!

4. Quit Smoking

Another pressure filled one!

There is a person on the face of this Earth that doesn’t know that smoking is no good for you.

But – so are a tons of other things and I say: Try to quit, but in order to be successful with this resolution, you really have want it!

Adding this resolution to your list for the New Year is just one more pressure and stress point that you probably don’t need. So think about it, and do it when you are ready.

5. Enjoy Life More

This one has me totally flabbergasted!

Can you imagine wanting to enjoy life less? Do we really need to put this one on the list?

The way I see it is that it cannot possibly be defined in a more nondescript way. If that mean that you would be walking with a permanent smile on our lips looking happy than I ask “WHY?”Of course you and all of us need to enjoy life more and that means pretty much taking all the New year’s resolutions listed here and living them every day as a matter of standard!

So take a quick look back, write down things that made you unhappy and then – don’t do them! (yes I know I am pretty much quoting Dr.Phil again – but it is worth it: If it doesn’t work for you – stop doing it!)

6. Quit Drinking

Definitely, definitely, definitely a good move!

If you have a situation in your past where you have – and not just once – been in a state that you don’t recall what you said or did, please think carefully about how excessive drinking can ruin your life.

And get some help – don’t do it because it is a New Year’s Resolution – do it because it will save you!

7. Get Out of Debt

Oh yes – and that will work if you have a job, if you make enough to cover more than your necessary monthly expenses, if you are healthy, etc. etc.

Definitely a good possible New Year’s resolution – depending on your situation.

If you are stretched beyond your limit already, perhaps it should read: Don’t get deeper into debt or Do your best to manage debt – with the focus of seeing the light at the end of that dark financial tunnel. Baby steps here are recommended so it doesn’t get worse!

8. Learn Something New

Learning something new and then using it is one of the best ever experiences you may have. I greatly admire those 80 and 90 year olds who graduate from university or college! And it is for just because they want to keep learning, keep living. Amazing!

I think if you make this a New Year’s resolution and then go and learn something new and say: OK, now I have kept my resolution – you are way off the track!

Know what I mean?

9. Help Others

This thing again should be a way of life!

Help you neighbour clear snow of  their driveway, help an senior lady unload her grocery cart into her car, volunteer in your local hospital…..start with small things and understand just good you feel each and every time you help someone.

Please, make this a way of life – if you at all can, spread the message of helping others, that is the right thing to do!

10. Get Organized

If you are not organized then get to it!

But understand that you first need to determine what is “organized” for you.

Some people feel organized with piles and piles of files on their desks (I had a lawyer like that once and I was amazed just quickly he could locate information from them!)

Others have a spotless desk as a norm – it really is up to your standards so work on those first. Same with your house – some people have surroundings fit to be photographed and featured in a magazine – personally, I like the “Live In”feeling – clean mess I call it. I kind of like things at my fingertips – if you know what I mean.

Definitely a choice of preference on this one.

OK – so these are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions with my comments. Do you know why I don’t make my own?

I am at the age where I really focus on loving every day. I do have bad days – some with physical, some with emotional pain – just like everyone else. But focusing on the good things and feeding off those work well for sure.

One piece of advice for this New Year:

Enjoy Life, with all of the ups and downs and if you don’t already know it –

Make it Your Everyday Resolution!



Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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