I love resolutions. Whether it’s an attempt at small monthly goals or the blank slate of a new year, I have always been motivated by setting goals and making plans.

That said, I’m in a stretch of zilch with resolutions. For the last few years, I haven’t made them because…well, because life is a resolution enough!

Maybe it’s the endless task lists. Maybe I’ve just relaxed too much in the years I’ve become a mom. Maybe… Well, I don’t know.

So, instead of taking a “here’s what I’ll do” approach (and I did set a few goals for the year, mind you), I thought I’d consider it differently.

Here are five things I won’t be doing this year.

Failed Resolution #1: To get organized

Though I dearly love organization, resolving to “get organized” is a sure recipe for disaster. I can never live up to the standards in my mind, and lowering them is just. not. an. option. I need to set bite-sized goals, things that can be accomplished (perhaps even in a few hours on a Sunday).

Failed Resolution #2: To change “them”

This is a sneaky sort of thing that I often forget. I can’t change other people; I can hardly change myself! Whether it’s a daughter or a spouse, a friend or a family member, I need to focus on ME, not THEM.

Failed Resolution #3: To accomplish {fill in with something nearly impossible here}

It’s not going to happen if it’s not the right time. And though I don’t dispute that having goals is good and worthy and even helpful, this sort of resolution is sure to set me up for a big crash (at least at this point in my life). Maybe I’m just shooting for the wrong things… Or maybe I need to trust more. Or…well, sometimes, as I’m reminded nearly every day, there is no why. (Yoda said that first, from what I understand.)

Failed Resolution #4: Do more

Perhaps what makes this a failed resolution for me, every single time, is that I very rarely have room to do more. The way I add to my plate is by discernment, and it never, ever happens on January 1st. Though I have started big projects (even recently), they are less “Do More” resolutions than callings that have usually been some time in coming.

So I won’t be resolving, this year, to do more. I might end up doing more, yes. But it won’t be because I have it all figured out, whether what the “more” involves or what the “doing” is.

Failed Resolution #5: Free up some time

This is self-evident, isn’t it? Except that it’s not, at least for me. I need reminded not to resolve this. Every year.

Failed Resolution #6: Not to {fill in with something preposterous, like “waste entire days reading”}

The fact is, I will do these things I vow not to do. It’s not a question of not doing them, it’s a question of balance. It’s a question of discipline. It’s a question of building in down time.

which leads me to…

The Surefire Resolution (The One That Won’t Let Me Down)

To keep letting go and trusting God. Prayer, first and foremost. The prayer will be integrated into my daily duties, as I wash dishes or answer the phone, when I’m playing with the kids or working with my colleagues. I want to be in line with God’s will, but to do that, I have to be in conversation with Him. (Which, I’d like to add, is easier said than done for me.)

Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at

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