I am one of those people who start a new week or a new year off with endless aspirations about how, this time, it’s going to be different. And nearly every time I do that, I fail right away. I take on too many things: I want to lose ten pounds, start meditating every day, write every day, give up sugar, drink more water, exercise for 30 minutes a day. It’s all too much to tackle at once. No wonder I fail. And yet, even now that I know I’m likely to overwhelm myself with all my new year resolutions, I still feel inclinded to make some.

Of course, another reason why I fail is because I feel enslaved by these new habits I’m trying to incorporate into my life. Sure, I could sit and meditate for 15 minutes a day, but what else could I be doing with that 15 minutes? Maybe something that felt more…productive? Maybe something that felt more relaxing? Sure, I could eat a salad every day for lunch. But, ugh, salads are so bland and messy and so much work. Fast food tastes better. Sandwiches are easier.

Resolutions make life harder.

And yet the word, “resolute,” stems from the Latin *resolutus* which means “released.” And that’s what we’re all really looking for, isn’t it? To be released from our demons or our vices. To be released from disease or weakness. There is something already enslaving us from which we wish to be free.

What is it I wish to be free of? I could say cancer, but no one is ever free from that. I could say anxiety, but no life is stree-free all of the time.

Perhaps I just want to be free of the worry of these things. I want to know that I am as healthy as I can be, mentally, emotionally, physically, so these shadows don’t darken my doorstep every day.

2018 brought me great knowledge. I learned what I could do to take the best care of myself. 2019 will be an extension of that, to take what I’ve learned and expand on it. But most of all, I want to learn how to be more forgiving of myself during those times when I inevitably fail. After all, failure is not an end. It’s an opportunity.

Synonyms of “resolute” are “unwavering” and “persistent,” yes, but also “purposeful” and “indefatiguable.” I know I won’t be unwavering 100 percent of the time. I won’t accomplish everything I want to, and I won’t incorporate all my goals every day. But I will face 2019 with new purpose and with new motivation that won’t waver over time.

That is my resolution for this year.

*And you? What do you hope to accomplish in 2019?*