The Year Without a Resolution


This year, I am going to workout five times a week. This year, I won’t eat a single carb. This year, I am going to get to bed every night by 10 pm. This year, I am going to organize my entire house. This year……

Does any of this sound familiar? 

It does to me. I have made many a New Year’s Resolution over the year. Would you like to know how many of those resolutions I have seen through to completion? ZERO. That’s right. Not a single one. 

Every year, I am motivated to start new and healthy habits. I look forward to the start of another calendar year so I can begin living the life I have always wanted to live. This year will be the year when I begin living my very best life. I can eat healthy. Lose the pounds. Get to the gym. Get good sleep. Watch less TV. Wake up early. Stop checking Facebook 500 times a day.

This is the year. 

But it’s not. It never is. 

It starts off strong and within a few weeks, if I’m lucky – months – I usually find myself back to my old ways. 

Is it because I lack motivation and drive? I don’t think so.  Is it because I really don’t want to live my very best life? Absolutely not. 

I think it’s because the goals I set are usually so specific, that they are setting me up for failure before I even begin. Let’s take for instance the goal of working out five times a week. It may sound doable when I set the goal – and some weeks it is, but other weeks – well, other weeks it’s just not. And if I have too many of those weeks in a row because of kids being sick, or an extra work assignment, or some other thing that is out of my control – then I believe I have failed. I believe my goal is unattainable. I am likely to quit. 

I have decided this year, instead of setting specific goals – I am going to set one goal.

And that is to live a life of balance.  

This year, I want to set small goals throughout the year. I want to be mindful and intentional in my days. I want to realize some days I will eat really healthy, and others I may eat half a cake. I want to know that some nights I may binge watch Netflix, and others I may find myself in bed early, comfy under the covers, turning the pages of a good book. There may be weeks when I get to the gym every day and others when I don’t. Some weeks I will be an A+ superstar mom, writing notes in lunches and building forts made of blankets and other weeks I may yell a little more than I hope. 

I want to give myself permission to try – and permission to fail. Permission to have good days – and permission to have not so good days. 

I want this year to be extraordinary. Not because I set 10 goals that I accomplished, but because I woke up each day giving it my all. And realizing some days giving it my all means staying in my pjs all day. Because everyone needs a pj day every once in awhile. 

This year, I will not be setting New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I am going to be intentional about living a life of balance. 

Whether you choose to set New Year’s Resolutions this year, or make lifestyle changes, keep it at one goal – or do none of the above – I wish you the best of luck. I wish you much success. I wish you will bestow upon yourself the gift of grace. I wish if you find yourself falling short of your goals – you will not see that as failure, but will instead get up and try again. I wish you permission to succeed and permission to fail.

This year, I wish you will find yourself living your very best life.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet (and sometimes a bit wild) children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability – some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken and Bar-B-Que joints in town. Life is full of ups and downs and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement to others, wherever they may find themselves in their parenting journey. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and life observations as a freelance writer and keeps a personal blog at, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Twitter and follow her on Facebook at Truly Yours Jen, Jennifer Thompson - writer.


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