Purpose: A Resolution

With New Year’s Eve upon us, many of us will flirt with making resolutions, a 4,000-year-old practice once employed with hopes of pleasing the gods. Regardless of the purpose, making resolutions on the cusp of a new year requires reflection, purposeful identification of our mistakes or debts, and determination to make amends – changing our behaviors to pursue the best version of ourselves.

As 2020 concludes, with deep intention or fleeting interest, many of us will identify a resolution (or resolutions for the more ambitious among us) for the upcoming year. We will secretly or publicly declare our intentions, even though we know we will most likely abandon our goals within a few weeks . After all, it takes at least three weeks for a behavior to become a habit, and three weeks is a long time even for the most resolved.

And yet, commitment or making up one’s mind to make changes can and does happen. Towards the end of 2014, I made a promise to myself to reclaim my health. At that point, I weighed over 125 pounds more than I do today. I had been too wrapped up in caring for my family, my students, my friends, and I had neglected myself. In 2014, the universe had offered me what felt like insurmountable personal challenges, as well as the realization that if I continued to ignore my health, I would be unable to care for those most important to me. Over the course of several months, I began a life altering transformation of mind, body, and spirit.

Looking back on that pivotal year, I now realize its gift. 2014 forced me to intentionally focus on unresolved issues – to prune parts of my life that sucked my emotional energy – to seek counseling for untouched wounds – to understand that living is a gift that requires action not passivity. 2014 also taught me the depth of my strength, and it mandated, yes mandated, me to shift how I understand my purpose. And ultimately, 2014 prepared me for 2020 and what awaits.

While a resolution is “a formal expression of opinion or intention made,” it also includes “the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose” (dictionary.com). Firmness of pupose. Firmness of purpose. As I read this definition, my mouth first whispered the phrase, and then I heard my voice say it out loud.

Firmness of purpose is not a one and done resolution, but it is a way of living – an intentional step into understanding, and it requires grace, reflection, and definition. So for 2021, I will continue to whisper, shout, sing, dance, live these words: firmness of purpose. Firmness of purpose.


I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

To read more about the history of making New Year’s resolutions, begin with this article on the History Channel’s website: https://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions

10 thoughts on “Purpose: A Resolution

  1. I love the idea of “firmness of purpose”. I use food to make me happy. Last year at this time, I got a good mammogram and had lost about 40 lbs. Today, I just got my good mammogram report, but my weight is climbing and my cholesterol shot up. I need a restart again and tonight gives me the opportunity to ‘resolve’. I like I can give voice to it. Happy New year XO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! The honesty, insight, and vulnerability with which you write is a New Year’s gift to me (and all of your readers). “Firmness of purpose is not a one and done resolution, but it is a way of living – an intentional step into understanding, and it requires grace, reflection, and definition.” This is me lifting my foot to take an intentional step into 2021. Thank you.

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  3. I really love that last paragraph. This is encouraging and inspiring, such a powerful way to reshape the mind on the idea of change in the new year. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am in awe of your courage and the honesty with which you wrote. The health issues, the underlying unresolved issues and wounds..and here you are telling of these, reiterating firmness of purpose. That’s powerful. People can make changes….not by one and done resolutions but in choosing ways of living. I love turning words around as you did here with resolve/resolute. I love playing with the many-colored veils of them. I didn’t know the tradition was that old and began with the purpose of pleasing the gods… fascinating… and I absolutely love your hashtag #Make RoomForJoy… oh, do we ever need to do that, each day. So very grateful for your words.

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  5. Oh, your ideas in this post will stay with me for a very long time. This is a line I want to remember – “to understand that living is a gift that requires action, not passivity.” Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a lovely unwrapping of thoughts and I’m grateful you wrote and shared it. I agree with the idea that one season prepares us for the next. I think we are always “in training” for what lies ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

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