Oh No! Another Failed Attempt at New Year’s Resolutions

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Barely half-way through January, and I’ve reneged on most of my commitments for 2022.

I even tried to simplify the ritual by carrying over some from the previous year, adding one or two new ones, just to be legitimate. What were they? Who knows; who now cares? I didn’t even write them down. They were swirling in my head divided between the parts of the brain that record short- and long-term memories, standing by to be extracted at the right intervals. 

Yet I find myself in a state of guilty inertia—dejected, disappointed, depressed and demoralized—my intentions officially retracted.

So how do I move forward? 

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The universe is filled with signs. Some may call them coincidences; others may see them as unconscious acts of willpower; still others may accept them for what they are in the moment and open their hearts and minds to receive bundles of goodness, inspiration and knowledge.

Just when you think you’re all alone, help is around the corner and often at no cost

Recently, I attended a virtual “Ask & Give” program hosted generously for FREE by a national women’s networking and empowerment organization: Together Digital. The hour-long exchange, titled, “Ready, Set, Manifest,” featured sassy and feisty Lucrecer Braxton, award-winning photographer, digital marketer and founder of SoulSista Plants, who zealously and compassionately woke us up from our New Year’s stupor. Her message: You are not defeated; you should not feel ashamed or weak or inferior; YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! Instead, go forth and purge more of the tasks and “to dos” you know are doomed, then replace them with true intentions. Additionally, be satisfied with doing nothing. 

Reinforcing that idea, journalist Jessica Yellin, founder and host of her “News Not Noise” podcast dropped an episode presenting Eve Rodsky, lawyer and NYT best-selling author, discussing her new book, Unicorn Space. Eve “defines it as the active and open pursuit of creative self-expression in any form that is fulfilling.” 

“Embrace all the unlikely, surprising, and delightful places where [our] own unicorn space may be found. Creativity is not optional. It’s essential.”

— eve rodsky

Eve goes on to talk about manifesting our own Unicorn Space in a too-busy life. And guess what that requires: The ability to make room for us to ponder, think, empty our minds by getting rid of the unnecessaries, non-essentials and unwinnable activities and misplaced desires. 

Put Yourself in the Present

Then there’s mindfulness guru Tara Brach, whose podcast I listen to regularly and whose books, True Refuge and Radical Compassion, are nestled dog-eared in my bookshelf. Tara invented the practice of RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Non-identification. It’s a process to break old habits, like making new year’s resolutions then breaking them! Her recent broadcast with Trisha Stotler, meditation teacher for IMCW, focuses on, “Resilience and Wisdom in an Uncertain World.”

The takeaway is that we can recover from a deeply stressful and troubling time in our world by taking time to live in the moment. I apply this idea to helping me toss aside my resolutions and replace that space with what I can do presently, even if it’s just emptying my mind, flipping through a magazine, listening to music or browsing through online shopping. In other words, I can forget about my resolutions – past and future – and instead refocus my energy on what’s happening around me and how I can make things happen in real time that are more productive and satisfying. 

It’s Alright Now

So today, I’m resolved to accept my abandonment of resolutions without guilt or remorse. It’ll take some work to rewire my brain with this new perspective. And I think I’m going to be okay!

The universe is filled with signs. Some may call them coincidences; others may see them as unconscious acts of willpower; still others may accept them for what they are in the moment.


From Holiday Cheer to Health Despair


Ho, ho, hope

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It’s concerning that the height of the mainstream holiday season—traditionally a boon for celebration and good cheer—is becoming a stage for mental, emotional and physical health. 

Do you notice an increasing narrative on combating stress, anxiety and depression, and a steady stream of content calling out warning signs, remedies and support resources related to “holiday distress?” In my neighborhood, The Chicago Department of Public Health posted a resource on “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay During the Holidays” on Facebook

And then there’s the tragic news of the sudden loss of beloved celebrity, husband and father Stephen tWitch Boss from death by suicide that has generated countless tributes of shock and sadness and sparked conversations on the urgency to address the mental health crisis.

The CDC reports that in 2020, 45,979 people died by suicide in the United States. That’s 1 person every 11 minutes. Further, the agency notes that 12.2M adults seriously thought about suicide; 3.2M made a plan; and 1.2M attempted suicide. There’s also a disproportionate rate of suicide among certain ethnic groups with the highest suicide rates among non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic Whites. The suicide rate among males in 2020 was 4 times higher than the rate among females. And people ages 85 and older have the highest rates of suicide.1

Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But it is not inevitable. There is hope.

U.S. Department of Health and human services

I applaud the loud and persistent voice giving attention to an ongoing untreated epidemic wreaking havoc on joy and happiness year-round let alone during the end of year holidays. But are we listening to the cries for help, seeing the warning signs of distress and taking the prescribed action to protect those in need, including ourselves. How can we make time and create room to deal with mental health issues with ourselves and others when we’re busy with holiday shopping, parties and the clock ticking on finishing projects and resolving unattended goals before the yearend? The causes and solutions become intertwined and blurred. 

The scope of this condition ranges from the overwhelming pressure of additional socializing, increased spending—oftentimes unbudgeted and spending more time with family—sometimes estranged, to the extreme pain of fear, fatigue, conflict, depression, anxiety and ultimately the feeling of inescapable gloom.

For most of my life, I’ve been dealing with the struggles of my own mental and emotional health. From overlooked childhood anxiety and self-esteem difficulties and young adult imposter syndrome to disregarded postpartum depression and now diagnosed chronic depression, I’ve been combatting my illness through therapy, medication and sheer self-preservation. Yet it’s exhausting and often times hopeless. And there it is: hopelessness. The state of plummeting into despair and the doom of surrender. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But it is not inevitable. There is hope.”2 The Department runs SAMSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

My Resources

What can we do? I’m no expert, so I’ll offer some of the ways I cope and resources I rely on:

  • Say it out loud; no one needs to be listening, but try to find someone who will, too.
  • Write it down, journal, make a private video or recording.
  • Consult your medical professionals.
  • Keep an eye out on social media for content and conversations. Many users do post credible resources and messages. Make sure to vet these. Here are a few I found:
  • And then there’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

Sending you love, compassion and hope during the holidays and all year around. 


1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Suicide Data and Statistics

2The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Suicide Prevention Resources