I’m not big on making New Years resolutions anymore.  Once upon a time I did.  I made lists of all the ways I’d try to change, and all the things I’d do differently–

eat better

exercise more

lose weight

read more classics

take vitamins

join a Bible study

pray daily

I was going to be a better, nicer person.  I was going to be healthier and stronger.  I was going to be leaner and fitter.  I was going to be improved.

I’m mid forties now and wise enough to know I shall never be vastly improved.   For better or worse, I am who I am.  And it’s a good person, even though flawed.  But what I’ve learned in the past five years is that my flaws are mine, and make me who I am, again, for better or worse so I don’t resolve to remake me, or reinvent me, or try to dramatically improve me. 

But I do have two resolutions for 2009, and they have to do with ugliness and unhappy people, and here are my 2009 resolutions:

I resolve to not allow unhappy people to ‘win’ by poisoning me with their ugliness or unhappiness.  I won’t take their anger personally, nor will I dwell on their pettiness or dance to their tune. 

My second resolution relates to the first, and it’s this:

I resolve to be positive and to surround myself with loving, healthy, positive people.  For me, success isn’t about things, or stuff, or power.  It’s about quality of life, and that’s what I want, in abundance.

Anyone else make a resolution for the new year?  You can share your resolution, or why you do or don’t make them, in the comments below and you’re entered in my 2009 Resolution contest.  The contest is a sarong and all the Hawaii goodies I offered in my last contest.  The contest will run through Sunday night midnight and I’ll draw the winner’s name and post it below on Monday morning when I’m back home in Bellevue.  (I heard its snowing again in Washington.  Hopefully not in Greater Seattle!  I need kids to get back to school!!)


  1. Jane,

    I hope this new year has been good for you so far! Mine has been fine. I don’t normally make resolutions either…more like goals. I have a goal of staying on my exercise routine as regularly as I can…My other goal is to make my candle business successful. 2009 will be great since my sister announced on Christmas she is pregnant with her 3rd and my younger sister could be pregnant any time now too. So I will be an aunt again at least once maybe twice this year and that is a wonderful thing!

    Hope you are feeling well!!

  2. You know, for the past few years I haven’t made any but I like your comment about surrounding yourself with positive people so I think I’m going to make that a resolution as well. Happy New Year Jane!

  3. I don’t really do resolutions anymore either. But I think yours is a great one, and one I think I should try to emulate. 2008 held too much negativity for me and I absorb all that way too much.

    This year I just want to know that the things I do make a difference, in both my own and others lives. That I’m not just treading water. I want to know that my children are happy and healthy and that while I’m not always “fun mom”, that I am always doing the best I can for them.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Like you Jane I am in my mid 40’s and I really don’t do resolutions anymore.
    I already do your resolution.
    People that are real downers I try to avoid. Life is tough enough without those folks.

    But if I have to name one thing I can do better in 2009 is exercise and walk a little bit more than I do. I want to keep my insides in working order.

  5. Not really resolutions – just an affirmation to be healthy and positive.
    Things may be tough financially, but I am truly blessed! Debbie

  6. Hi Jane – I am all for positivity too. I am going to be striving for happiness and I will be avoiding anyone wo has a chip on their shoulder as the negativity from those kind of situations can really drag a normally-happy person down. I am also going to get back in to exercising, but if I want to eat chocolate or something bad, I am not going to be too hard on myself. Let’s make 2009 a fun, happy year 🙂

    I also feel quite positive, I just finished reading a book that was 407 pages long and a really fun read, Jane Fallon’s – Got You Back.

    Happy New Year everyone. Take care 🙂

  7. I am going to be a woman first and a mom second. For the first time in my life, I am going to have a career where I am not responsible for children. My kids are grown. They do not need me anymore. (They do but in a different way)My fosterkids are leaving.I am going to figure out what makes me me and get to know myself. I can’t wait to go to inflight training Sunday! Minneapolis here I come… BRRR!!!

  8. I don’t usually make resolutions because I tend to not keep them anyway. Hope your time in Hawaii was relaxing and rejuvenating for you.

  9. I am like you and don’t really make resolutions any more….always broke them anyways! Jane, I hope the snow isn’t too bad so your kids can make it to school! 🙂

  10. Wow, what a coincidence that you should ask that question today right after I finished reading “Mrs. Perfect.” Before reading the book, each year I would definitely make resolutions or goals regarding improving myself and/ or my life somehow. Those goals always seemed positive enough but now after reading the story, I want to acknowledge and recognize the good things I’m already doing. I’m going to update my gratitude journal and focus on my blessings. I’m also going to create more opportunities to say “yes” to things I want to do and “no” to those things that I don’t enjoy.

    Happy New Year!!


  11. Ms. Jane

    You are absolutely right about being around positive people and stay away from the negative. Like they say don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy life to the fullest. Happy New Year!

  12. Wow Jane, I love your resolutions! They are so to the truth of how we let other negativity affect us. You are a great writer, a wonderful person and I’m honored to be your friend. I can’t wait to meet you one of these days:0)

    I didn’t really create any resolutions this year, just dreams for myself!

  13. I am turning 40 this year and my goal is to do a half marathon this spring. I am already a runner so the marathon is just to prove I can do it.
    I already try to keep negative people away but it’s can be difficult-especially when those negative people are family members. :-)But life is short and I want positive people in life -no matter how difficult that may be!
    I want to take on challenges full on rather than sitting stagnant this year so to start that off-the first of Jan-I did a polar bear swim into the puget sound and it was cold!!!!
    Happy New Year!

  14. Hi Jane,

    No resolutions here either. Just to be healthy and happy and enjoy each day to it’s fullest. Have a safe trip home.


  15. I hope to continue my writing and to not let rejections get the better of me. And I hope to continue to learn from my mistakes and become a better writer. Also, I plan to surround myself with positive people and get rid of “toxic friends.”

    Happy New Year!

  16. I really loved your resolutions about negative, mean and bitter people. Sometimes it is so easy to let those people get you down and I find myself falling into that trap, too. So I am with you on that resolution–ignore those people & surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. Other than that, I have not made any resolutions except to not worry so much this year & try not to control situations as much as I do. Happy New Year, Jane!!

  17. Well, I have not been real successful in the past with my New Years Resolutions but this year I will try extra hard. I need to get this extra weight off that I gained being pregnant with both of my children. This is something I need to do for MYSELF to feel better. Plus, they are getting older and there is really no excuse to still be carrying that extra weight! 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful 2009 Jane!

  18. Jane, I love your resolutions. Like you I’ve been trying to improve myself every year, but I’m realizing improvements don’t really make me happier, so I think I’ll take on your resolutions instead. Happy New Year!


  19. i just started to make resolutions as i’m getting older. i think of them as friendly reminders of what kind of person i want to be and the goals i strive for.

  20. I don’t make resolutions much any more either. However, this year, I do resolve to not let anything negative affect me. We moved just six months ago to a new state and moving in itself is difficult. 2008 was a tough year packed full with many changes and lots of good-byes. I resolve to have as much joy and contentment in 2009 regardless what journey lies ahead. Blessings to you!

  21. You will be having a baby in 2009! What could be a greater accomplishment than that! God is good!

    For myself, I am just want to enjoy my family more this year. My kids are growing up so fast & I want to spend more quality time with them.

  22. I wish you the Happies of New Years. I dont make resolutions, I just never have gotten into doing them. I just hope for happiness and health for all of my family and friends, and myself of course.

  23. Hi Jane! I’m not really into making resolutions either. I just never seemed to be able to keep them. I will try to be the best person I can be and to help others as much as possible.

  24. Happy New Year Jane!
    My resolution for this year is to focus on the positives in my life and surround myself with good people. I will no longer allow myself to be caught up in others “drama”, and giving myself permission to not have to take care of everyone else and their issues. I’m still a good person without doing so. Life is too short for anything less.

  25. Jane, we hope we’ll get to see you soon!

    I have the same resolution we’ve had for several years now after seeing it in “Newsweek”: Make out more. Yeah, it sounds pretty silly. At the same time, who’d want to break it? 😉

    I hope 2009 is the best yet for you!


  26. I don’t make resolutions so much as goals. This year my goals are more centered on having balance in my life. I tend to get caught up in things like work and forget to make time for myself and the things I really enjoy. So my goals are things like getting more massages and making time to spend with my friends. I also plan to send out some queries this year with a target date of January 20 to start that.

    Things like that. 🙂

    Happy new year Jane. 🙂

  27. Yes, it snowed again! We have some here in Puyallup again.

    I used to make resolutions. Lots of them. Now, at 49, I see them as another way to punish myself. A way to set myself up to be disappointed in something else I didn’t do.

    So mine are simpler now. I vow to get ANY exercise. No weight loss goals but be healthier.

    And to realize I am determined to keep up with my therapy.

    I will find happiness and joy in every day.

    A little less whining and a lot more appreciating. 🙂

  28. I agree with your resolutions and your positive outlook. Just great. The best way to be and a wonderful perspective on life.
    I will strive to be patient and positive and hope to improve my relationships with all. Happy new Year.

  29. I don’t really make resolutions. I just try to live my life positively, one day at a time. It is truly not about the stuff, it’s about how you live life and who you share it with. And like you, I’ve learned to leave out the negative people, and their bad vibe. I want to be surrounded by good karma!

  30. I need to exercise more and try to take off this extra weight I have put on. I am in my mid fifties now and the weight don’t come off like it used to.

  31. I don’t want to be in the contest but I really want to comment on this wonderful post.

    It’s so funny that this would be your “resolution” because I made that same resolution right after I read Flirting when Jackie made the decision not to take on clients she didn’t like or who treated her badly. I made that decision based on what YOU wrote! It has been one of the GREATEST decisions I’ve ever made.

    I only surround myself with people who are positive and build up others, me and themselves. My interactions with negative people is always cut very short. Your story gave me that permission.

    Happy New Year, Jane! You are one of those people who I LOVE having in my life!

  32. In 2009 I resolve to LEARN. Learn more about writing to improve my craft, learn more about health and good eating and exercising to stay healthy, learn more by reading more, learn more by listening more and talking less. Okay, that one’s hard!
    Happy New Year, and here’s to 2009.

  33. My resolutions:
    1. To eat half of my dinner so I have lunch ready for the next day!

    2. To have more patience for my boys, 4 and 5.

    3. To stop making excuses and write, even if it’s crap, cause writing is how I learn about myself.

  34. My resolution is to remain positive no matter what happens, to never take anything for granted and to appreciate all the good things I have in my life.
    Happy New Year, Jane!

  35. I want to be a better friend to my girlfriends. I am getting a tendency to not make an effort to get out and do things, partly Jane, because I love to read and “escape” and find myself at times choosing to stay home and read a good Jane Porter book (or another author) rather than cope with real people and their real problems and quirks. Also, I need exercise and with 8 hours and commute/cooking time, there isn’t always time to exercise and time to socialize.
    After working all week with the biggest stresses not getting the work right but getting along with difficult people, I look forward to weekends and going to the mountains and hiking with my husband. I don’t want to give that up, but I will make time during the week or one day of the weekend to be with my buddies. The older I get, the more I depend, not on the kindness of strangers, but on the support of my friends and I need to give back to them!

  36. I love this post so much that I read it over several times. Isn’t it crazy how we tend to let what other people think, do, and say get to us so much? And we tend to dwell on it so much that it eats away at our life, our minds. The time spent focusing on the negativity of the people around us could be instead focused on everything that we have to be grateful for. So I’m taking a que from you and making this a goal for myself too. Thank you, Jane. And I hope that your trip back home is pleasant.

  37. I made a resolution to not sweat the small stuff. To take time and relax and enjoy life a little bit more.

  38. The goals that I have been working on are:

    Being Healthy from eating to exercising.

    Taking time for self from reading, watching a movie, exercising, shopping.

    Do not allow job to frustrate me and to let it go when I walk out the door for the day and focus on family and self.

    Be the better person and an example to others.

    Happy New Year!

  39. Jane, one look at your holiday card picture, and I can tell that you’ve already been practising your ’09 resolutions. Way to go to bring them center stage though. You’re an amazing writer and a flat-out amazing person. I’m glad you’re not going to allow anyone to rain on your parade, because ultimately, it is with our own permission that we allow other people’s badness into our lives.

    I’m a goal-maker. I love the excitement of the new year, the thinking that goes into it, the thought of a clean slate to try new things, to attempt different directions for myself, and to be brave.

  40. I usually don’t do resolutions and if I do I try to pick easy ones. However, I have noticed I have a bad habit lately of “making conversations about me” instead of listening to my friends when they really need someone to listen.
    I’ve always prided myself on being a good listener, so I want to get back in the habit. Plus, a closed mouth gathers no feet 😉

  41. I want less worry, less anger, more acceptance and more patience in 2009. This should be my daily prayer as well as a resolution!

    I want to enjoy my children more, and worry less about work, keeping the house clean and the laundry done.

    I want to read more books.

    All the best in 2009 Jane — I loved your Christmas card picture, you look fantastic! Hope you’re feeling good too. Haven’t caught up on your blogs yet after the Christmas break…


  42. Hi Jane,
    My resolution this year is going to be different than my past ones. Usually I pick something that I know I can do. This year I picked a challenging one.
    This year I choose to stop letting fear run my life and decisions. I have always let fear determine what I can and can’t do and frankly, I’m over it. I’m excited that I am just going to go for things this year and not care about fear anymore. So much so, that I am going to pursue nursing school after 10 years of thinking about it! 10 years! I was just too afraid to go for it…but not anymore. 🙂
    Have a great new year!!

    p.s. What a great surprise your Christmas card was, and I finally finished Flirting with Forty and loved it! You have a wonderful way of writing your characters in a way that makes them so accessible.

  43. I’m not big on resolutions either but I do have one this year. My book blog launched on the 1st and my resolution is…

    to meet new people and make new friends and I hope that my blog is a success! I would like my blog to be a fun blog and have people saying “Wow, this is a great blog! I’ll definately be coming back!” I don’t want it to be boring… I want it to be fun and exciting even informational for everyone who reads it! 🙂

  44. I made that “toxic people” resolution several years ago and I can assure you it improves life considerably. Negative people will still try to drag you down, but with a positive attitude, you just breeze right by them and keep the smile on your face.

    My resolutions for this year are to finish writing my book and pitch it at the RWA conference, to start a second book and to write at least six short stories (that hopefully will sell and fund my way to said conference). I also need to get in better shape cause my shape is getting a little lumpy in spots.

    That sarong sure would come in handy when the DH and I go to the Caribbean at the end of this month. 😉

  45. Those are fantastic resolutions. It is so important not to let other people influence who we are and how we feel about ourselves…hard but important.

    I don’t make resolutions. I am a mini-goal setter and I make goals all year long. Some I accomplish, some I don’t – but it is all up to me.

    Every year I pick a word to focus on (recently made popular by the scrap guru Ali Edwards). This year is the word DO. Not really profound, but it is my focus. I tend to be a dreamer, an idea girl. This year I want to actually DO some of my ideas. Seems like a good idea.

    Love your blog. Happy 2009!

  46. Jane, loved your blog on resolutions surrounding yourself with positive people!

    My resolution will be to be more patient and not so hard on myself. My spouse and I have been trying to conceive and I need to be more patient. In due time. We’ve both waited to do this later in life and I love hearing about your pregnancy and everything that you’ve experienced.

    Happy New Year and best wishes always!


  47. Jane,
    Happy New Year! I am not really a resolutions girl either. I love your idea of surrounding yourself with positive people. It is a hard thing this day and age to find people that are not negative. I have found that I have had to let loose of some friendships that always turned into a negative gossip-fest, or nagging lunch time after time.
    An attitude of gratitude is my way of life. Love my flaws. They are what make me a different person. Don’t relay on others for my happiness, that is my responsibility. Live in the now! Don’t have too many “hang-ups” The only restraints we have on our life are the ones WE choose to put there. Think positive. In every situation, there can be a silver lining.
    I find the more positive I am the healthier I feel. The more smiling I do, the more others smile with me. 🙂
    Hope you have a safe trip home. As far as snow…I know we have a TON over here in Coeur d’ Alene! I am wondering if my kids will get back to school!!??
    Have a fantastic 2009!!

  48. Jane,
    Welcome back. I hope you and the boys had a great trip to your second home.
    It is funny that your resolutions are exactly what is happining in my life. I have been dealing with an unhappy person in my life, although I can’t get rid of her, I can keep her at an arms length. This is one of my resolutions. She takes me down with her and drives me crazy.
    My other resolution is to write, write and write. Try to get something published.
    Have a wonderful new year!!

  49. Hmm..I read this and decided to think about it for awhile before responding. I’m also approaching my mid-forties and lately have been feeling funny about it. Worried about my kids growing up so fast. I think that I will just try to not worry so much about the future and enjoy everyday to the fullest!


  50. Hi Jane,
    I don’t tend to make resolutions anymore either. I make the changes throughout the year when I think of them instead of waiting to a set time. I have started to act on the idea of not allowing myself to be around people when they are being negative, angry, and/or hurtful. Regardless of who those people are (family, friends, etc.)

    Happy New Year and I wish you the best of luck with your resolutions :>

  51. Hi Jane,
    I don’t have a New Years Resolution this year. I made one a several years ago that was so good I never have to make another one, it was I WILL NEVER MAKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION!!
    For your resolution here is an idea that may help.
    Sometimes we can learn the biggest things from the smallest people. I noticed one of my children always began to sing when someone offended her or made her feel bad. Her song along with a beautiful smile was the only response they got. One day when I asked her about it she said, “When people are saying mean things to me, I figure they are unhappy and feeling bad about themselves, so I sing to make them feel better”.
    Happy New Year!
    Loves, Darlene

  52. happy new year! i havent even thought of a new years resolution! heck so why start!? the new year soo far has been great. now back to work and life w.all the time off we have had. hope you enjoyed your vacation. yes it is snowing here again.

  53. Happy New Year Jane!

    New Years resolutions are always a challenge. For 2009, I am really going to focus on trying to be a better person and taking care of my needs, goals and wants. I tend to neglect my needs and now I am really focusing on what I want. In fact, one of my goals is to start my own sports photography business. One step was to purchase a new laptop and I accomplished that goal yesterday. Yay me!

    Resolutions are really more of a guideline to live and I strive to follow them but will not let a few slip ups derail me.

    Anyway, where can I find the list of winners on the website? I love following your blog…it always warms my heart!

  54. Tomorrow Jeremy and I are pleased to announce the opening of his law office! My resolution – to not lose my mind or my patience since I will be his secretary for the time being!

    And, thinking positively, I will continue to surround myself with those who are positive and encouraging and fun. We can’t forget about fun. We should all have a daily dose of fun in our life.

    Happy New Year!

  55. Yep, it’s snowing in the Seattle area again tonight. Ugh. I hope you get home safely (I’m not sure when you’re traveling).

    As for resolutions, I tend to make changes in my life when I recognize a need for change, regardless of the time of year. However, that said, I am getting back on track immediately with eating healthfully and exercising regularly.

    It would also be a good idea if I resolved to keep my kitchen clean, but I’m not committing to anything yet! LOL!

    Happy New Year, Jane, and everyone!


  56. Dear Jane,

    My Resolution, 3 things:

    1. To make sure I have a closer relationship with my 14 year old daughter. To try and be more understanding with her ! ! !

    2. To be Totally GRATEFUL for everything I have !

    3. And try and do something about my weight.



  57. I wasn’t going to make any resolutions because you know…i have a deficiency in the will power area. But I like yours. . .you mind if I borrow yours?

    Happy New Year!

  58. Hi Jane,

    I stopped making New Year’s Resolution because I never seem to come up with something that I actually accomplish, like exercising more or eating healthier, etc. Why bother? So I try to just take things one day at a time and see where it takes me. I do have these rules that’s been helping me when I come across those bitter, angry people who try to infect you with their unhappiness….These are my Five Rules to Happiness…

    1. Free your heart from hatred
    2. Free your mind from worries
    3. Live simply
    4. Give more
    5. Expect less

    Everytime I read those words out loud, it helps me remind myself that their are some goodness in our world.

    Take Care and I hope you have an awesome New Year!!!

  59. I made these same resolutions, Jane, about 3 years ago. While they are tough to achieve (you are going against our female culture of “be nice to everybody), you will improve your life. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this way. By the way, you have inspired me to go to Hawaii again. We leave on Jan. 25–I’m tagging along with my husband on his business trip. Maybe I’ll take a surf lesson? Here’s to a wonderful 2009. Thanks for your inspiration! JP Tammen, age 43, on Puget Sound near Bremerton

  60. Jane,

    I love your thoughts on resolutions – we are who we are! That said, this is the year that I am going to get my house in order and lose enough weight to feel comfortable trying for baby #2! Four months of bed rest will kill a person’s weight/fitness, and kind relatives will stash things all over the house. SO – I’m going to finally get us unpacked from moving in, clear out some clutter and eat better/work out!

    Yes – it has been snowing off and on, but looks like it is warming up enough, so the rain is melting all the snow. Should be gone soon!

    I hope your trip has been good! Have a safe flight back.


  61. Gettin’ Mine In 09′! This can apply to most anything in your life- for me- it’s about keeping with a positive message in all that I do and that positive energy will come back to me.

  62. By the way – if you have any recommendations for a family-friendly church in the area, let me know. We’d like to start going again so we can get Logan into a Sunday School program! A great Bible Study group is a good idea too!


  63. I too decided to cut out negative influences from my life and seek more happiness this year. With three kids, carving out “me” time will be a challenge but I will do it! This 44-year-old needs it to save my sanity!

  64. Way to go, Jane!! I agree with everything you said! I am always hard on myself, and one of my resolutions is to start to love myself again. And to accept myself as good enough!

    And such great news about the baby!

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