Thursday, 29 December 2011


“I have no way of knowing how people really feel, but the vast majority of those I meet couldn't be nicer. Every once in a while someone barks at me. My New Year's resolution is not to bark back.” - Tucker Carlson

Many thanks to all those who commented on yesterday’s blog, I appreciate your kindness. I feel much better today and I am sure that by New Year’s Day, I shall be back to my usual cheerful self – well at least as cheerful as I am usually… It will be good to see the back of 2011 and I look forward to next year as one when I shall achieve some of my long-term goals, look seriously at my retirement options, finish a couple of my major projects and hopefully travel overseas in the second half of the year.

Are you the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? I used to, but many years ago when I was younger. Now I prefer to set some goals at appropriate times throughout the year and then do my best to achieve them. Some of my colleagues come back to work in the New Year with impressive lists of resolutions (a couple of them even post them up above their desk so that they can look at them daily), however, come February, they are rather unceremoniously forgotten, taken down or covered by other bits of paper that are posted over them.

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. Taking a tally of all that has happened and not happened in our life and making some decisions about what we want changed in our life. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. If you are in the habit of making New Year resolutions, see how close they come to a popular “top ten list”:
1)    Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2)    Exercise more, get fit
3)    Lose weight so as not to be obese
4)    Quit smoking
5)    Enjoy life more, be happier
6)    Quit drinking
7)    Get out debt
8)    Learn something new
9)    Help other more
10) Get more organised

I am sure that most people would have found a few of those that resonated with them and that were perhaps familiar from last year, or even the year before. Funny thing about these resolutions they keep recurring like clockwork, year after year…

resolution |ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən| noun
1 A firm decision to do or not to do something: She kept her resolution not to see Anne any more | My New Year's resolution is to lose weight and get really fit.
• A formal expression of opinion or intention agreed on by a legislative body, committee, or other formal meeting, typically after taking a vote: the conference passed two resolutions.
• The quality of being determined or resolute: he handled the last French actions of the war with resolution.
2 The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter: the peaceful resolution of all disputes | a successful resolution to the problem.
Music the passing of a discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony.
Medicine the disappearance of inflammation, or of any other symptom or condition.
3 chiefly Chemistry the process of reducing or separating something into its components.
Physics the replacing of a single force or other vector quantity by two or more jointly equivalent to it.
• the conversion of something abstract into another form.
Prosody the substitution of two short syllables for one long one.
4 the smallest interval measurable by a scientific (esp. optical) instrument; the resolving power.
• the degree of detail visible in a photographic or television image.
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin resolutio(n-), from resolvere ‘loosen, release’


  1. Number 8 for me! lol
    Last year my resolution, I don't usually do it, was learning to play the acoustic guitar.
    It didn't work the whole year. Last October I finally found some videos that made me understand what I didn't so I started.
    It will be this new years resolution again:
    Learn to play the acoustic guitar.
    I already know... 9 chords! lol
    The best resolution I did, silly, but as my mother used to to a lot of facial cleaning I was addicted.
    I decided, I don't remember which year, to never do that again and only take the usual care.
    Best thing I did. My skin got better and with a little help from retinoid acid it is ok.
    These were the only resolutions I did my entire life.
    I'm glad you're ok again!

  2. Resolutions schmesolutions.

    Not for me, thanks, they're way to ambitious for me and I'd never keep them, anyway.

    I might try a list of "I wish I could . . ."

  3. New Year's Resolutions? Pah!I don't make them any more because I never keep them. Instead, each day I resolve to start anew, to do better - I don't succeed at them either. Ho hum - enjoy each day as if it is a new experience, that's the best I can do.
    I don't like New Year's Eve (or Old Year's Night as my brother-in-law calls it) - the stroke of twelve causes people to embrace people they don't know - YUK!

  4. Two of your top 10 resolutions are the ones I select EVERY single year. I work hard on them until about mid January of the new year, and have totally forgotten them by the end of that month :(

    Long term change is very very difficult.

  5. Back in my community college teaching days I used to work p.t. for an education lab when I wasn't teaching English-related courses. I loved working in this lab for many reasons: one, our director looked like Carlos Santana, whom I adored :); two, I got to work one-on-one with students, making me feel like I was addressing their issues with quality tutoring & instruction rather than being a massive head in front of a sea of often obscure faces; and, three, I liked doing something different than teaching English-related studies. :)
    One of the things I remembered teaching with enjoyment in the edu lab was study skills. A skill in particular was how to organise priorities. My then director called these high and low priorities, the high priorities being listed first as those of value - perhaps longer termed goals. The low priorities were those daily/weekly more mundane issues that still needed to get done and not postponed.
    I suppose this is why I don't draw out New Year's resolutions either. To me they seem like pipe dreams, such as wishing to play better music but not disciplining the self to the mundane chore of practising. And there's the rub. These resolutions are tiresome, which is why they're often broken. Only those we by sheer will want to complete get themselves done.