Maybe it’s human nature or western culture or something else altogether—but it seems that when humans meet new eras what we get is a desire for change making, for new starts, for goals.  This year, I’ll be better, we say.  This year, I’ll be the new me.  This year, I’ll lay to rest what’s behind.

Concomitant with that proclivity towards goal making, however, has come a skepticism with the New Year’s Resolution.  Even Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of my favorite orators on planet Earth—favorite, in part, for his commitment to honest hope—recently pooh-poohed the New Year’s Resolution:

I don’t want to talk to you about New Year’s resolutions, because you only made five of them and you have already broken four. (I give that remaining one just another week.)

With respect to Elder Holland, I want us to remember to not forget: Resolutions can be made.  And kept.  All year long.


  • I gave up chocolate for a year.
  • I gave up butter for a year.
  • I gave up cheese for a year.
  • I gave up adding salt to my food for a year.
  • I gave up soda for a year.
  • I gave up cookies for a year.
  • I gave up cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream for a year.
  • I ran 100 times in a year.

This last year alone

  • I paid off my first (and second) student loans.
  • I ran a half-marathon.
  • I met a professional goal I’d been contemplating for years, and for which I had to do lots of work over six months, with the hand-holding and blessings of my family, friends, and roommates.

AND LET’S NOT FORGET (turns out—I’d forgotten this until I was revising this post) that I used to not be a bed maker.  In fact, I hated making my bed.  And I couldn’t imagine a life in which I made it with any regularity.  But then I needed to make my bed every day for a year in order to get contact lenses (a family rule) and—since eighth grade—have become a pretty religious bed maker.  I am now a person I never thought I could be.  I daily live a life I once thought impossible.

I’m not special.  My 14-year-old sister just finished a year in which she didn’t eat meat.  Most of my siblings and both of my parents have kept year-long resolutions to forego particular food items.  And, though not directly the product of a New Year’s Resolution, my father and I both lost significant amounts of weight this last year, over time, and (we think) in the right way.

You too have met goals you have set and have seen positive change you thought impossible.  I know you have.

What I’m saying is, if you’re contemplating kicking into a New Year’s Resolution this year, and some part of your heart or mind is telling you it’s a good idea but pretty unlikely to last all year long, let alone forever, feel free to tell that part of your heart or mind to shut it.  Remember the changes you have seen and made in your life.  Positive change is a reality it would be naïve of us to ignore.

Happy New Year, Apron Stage readers.  Go get ‘em.  Like you did before.