"Resolutions" written in sand with a wave about to wash the letters away, illustrating the idea that the new year doesn't have to bring a "new you"

As much as the holidays are enjoyable, I’m always glad when they’re over. It’s a feeling of relief, and a new beginning with the start of the new year. A time to refresh. But, unfortunately, it’s also a time of New Year’s resolutions. Ugh.

I used to enjoy writing up resolutions in my journal each year on New Year’s Eve. But looking back over my resolutions from the last 10 years, a majority of them are the same. And I consistently fail miserably to achieve any of them! They sound good in theory, and they look nice on paper. But clearly I am not so good at this resolution thing. Am I the only one who fails? I highly doubt it. 

Why do I keep writing resolutions I am destined to break?

Life gets in the way, juggling a career, home life, sports schedules, and everything else that comes with being a mom. Often, we lose ourselves in the process. It’s hard to take care of myself when I’m taking care of everyone else. Sound familiar?

This year I vowed to not make the same old resolutions.

My journal page for January 1 is blank. And honestly, it’s a huge sense of relief. No more resolutions that I’ll be breaking by February, because there are none to be broken. (Maybe a touch of reverse psychology going on.) I am shifting my mindset, and so far it feels good. If you, too, have a hard time keeping resolutions, why set yourself up for another year of broken promises? Instead, consider these ideas:

Be gentle on yourself, mama. 

You bear so much responsibility every day — for your kids, your family members, your work, your home. You’re doing a great job. Take it easy on yourself, and don’t add more items like New Year’s resolutions to your to-do list. Believe me, it feels good to not have that pressure. Give up the idea of perfection. Stop comparing yourself to other moms or other families, and don’t feel the need to say yes all the time to another responsibility. Your family is perfect the way it is. 

Clear out some clutter.

It feels so good! Physical clutter creates mental clutter, and we don’t need any more of either. Pick a room, a drawer, or any other space in your house that needs to be purged. I guarantee you’ll feel better doing it! 

Prioritize sleep. 

For both yourself and your kids. No one functions well when they are exhausted. And lack of sleep, as we all know, can lead to health issues and general grumpiness. 


By this I mean take some deep belly breaths when you are stressed. It really helps. Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest, and make sure your breaths are going in and out of your belly and not your chest (where breathing tends to be shallow when we are anxious or overwhelmed). Repeat until you feel more grounded. 

I feel much better already this year without my usual New Year’s resolutions. I hope you do too. Happy New Year! 

Cheryl Mastrogiovanni
Cheryl is a native of Salem, MA, and now resides in Arlington with her husband and son. A graduate of Boston College, she has been a high school counselor for over 20 years and enjoys helping seniors navigate the college application process. A lifelong Boston Bruins fan, Cheryl began attending hockey games with her father in the original Boston Garden at the age of 8, a tradition she is now sharing with her son. Cheryl published a children’s picture book about the Bruins, and is also passionate about soccer, Cape Cod, all things Italian, and spending time with her family. As much as she loves to travel, she equally loves coming home. Loves: playing soccer on the weekends, GOOD pizza, hot summer nights, '80s music, sneakers, and being organized Dislikes: long meetings, loud noises, messiness