Try this instead of a new year’s resolution

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 7 January 2020

How often have you made a new year's resolution? And how often have you kept to it...for the entire year?

Research shows that one in seven of us make a goal and actually stick to it so chances are you are with the majority on this one.

I have never been one to make new year's resolutions. But I have always been the type of person who sets goals on the regular and meets them. In fact, I think some of my friends actually find it annoying that I can do this with what seems like a sense of ease.

What I know though, is that it is actually part of what makes me me. Part of my personality. I wouldn't actually be me if I didn't do that.

What confirmed this for me really accurately was a personality quiz that is often used in the business world called an Ennegram test (you can find the test I used here).

Turns out I'm type 1, The Reformer. The major themes for this type are perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement.

So why do I bring this up?

Sometimes too much of a "good thing" can also be a detriment.

In the example of the reformer, "the relentlessness of their pursuit of the ideal can make them tense people who have a hard time relaxing and who unnecessarily deny themselves many of the harmless pleasures of life. They are seldom spontaneous and often self-denying."

After a patient asked me, "What's with all the self-help books on your holidays?" I started to wonder, is my fixation on improvement becoming more of a hinderance than a help in my life?

So instead of any new goals this year I am focusing on one theme:

finding the balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance.

I encourage you to find a theme as well.

Which side of the equation do you need to focus on to bring things into better balance?

If you already exercise 4-5X a week chances are you don't need to sign up for a half-marathon.

If you already have a glass of wine every night for dinner, and maybe more on the weekend, chances are you don't need to loosen up on your diet.

If you work inside every day chances are you need a little more nature time.

If you find yourself saying, "I'm overwhelmed with how busy my schedule is", chances are you need to start prioritizing and start saying no to tasks or activities that don't match those priorities.

If you feel claustrophobic with the amount of "stuff" in your house or office chances are you need to turn an investigative eye onto your credit card and bank statements to identify what you are buying that you don't really need.

If you find yourself in a pattern of negative self-talk chances are you need to find some ways to show yourself some love.

Now I would love to hear from you! What are your feelings about a theme for the year instead of a resolution? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

5 Replies to “Try this instead of a new year’s resolution”

Maria Pavel

Thank you always for your honest appraisal of yourself and sharing it. It makes people take a look at themselves.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thank-you Maria!


To love and respect my body

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Great theme Kim!


I never make them. I do what I need to with help from people like you.

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