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What’s your new year’s resolution?

What’s your new year’s resolution?

It has been said that the month of January is named after the ancient Roman god, Janus. Janus is depicted as a two headed god, symbolizing the ability Janus received from another god, Saturn, of being able to see into the future as well as see back into the past.1 And so it has become tradition of seeing the month of January as a time of reflection and an opportunity to set new goals.2

According to one website, the 10 most common new year’s resolutions last year were to:3

  1. Loose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

As health care practitioners, we can equally advocate for most of these goals for our patients, and perhaps, indeed, ourselves!

According to Forbes writer, Dan Diamond, only 8% of people keep their new year’s resolutions, a statistic gleaned from research done at the University of Scranton.4 Diamond reports that the formula for success is fourfold: 1) keep it simple, 2) make it tangible 3) make it obvious and 4) keep believing you can do it.

And I suppose, another perspective on success, would be to avoid the pitfalls responsible for breaking one’s resolutions. Accursing to Jené Luciani, form Shape, the most common 10 reasons for falling short include:5

  1. Going it alone
  2. Extremely lofty resolutions
  3. Giving up to easily
  4. Time management
  5. Financial burden
  6. Unrealistic resolutions
  7. No plan
  8. Lack of honesty
  9. Wrong perspective
  10. Not believing in yourself

Admittedly, we are all victims of Janus, and almost always greet January 1 with a few wishes and hopes. A simple and honest poem, by Robert Fisher, says it all!6

I will not throw the cat out the window

Or put a frog in my sister’s bed

I will not tie my brother’s shoelaces together

Nor jump from the roof of Dad’s shed

I shall remember my aunt’s next birthday

And tidy my room once a week

I’ll not moan at Mum’s cooking (Ugh! fish fingers again!)

Nor give her any more of my cheek.

I will not pick my nose if I can help it

I shall fold up my clothes, comb my hair,

I will say please and thank you (even when I don’t mean it)

And never spit or shout or even swear.

I shall write each day in my diary

Try my hardest to be helpful at school

I shall help old ladies cross roads (even if they don’t want to)

And when others are rude I’ll stay cool.

I’ll go to bed with the owls and be up with the larks

And close every door behind me

I shall squeeze from the bottom of every toothpaste tube

And stay where trouble can’t find me.

I shall start again, turn over a new leaf,

leave my bad old ways forever

shall I start them this year, or next year

shall I sometime, or …..?

If you have any new year’s resolutions, please let me know what they are by responding to the blog, or better yet…please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.



Anne O'Riordan

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:24

Thank you for this thoughtful reflection Dean Reznick. My resolution for 2016 is to practice the art of gratitude. We hear the word so often that some of us may forget its true meaning and power. I hope that as I gaze back, and look ahead, I will more often recognize and express my gratitude.

Anne O'Riordan

Stroy Monkhouse

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:24

To all the above, Yes. Lose weight, learn a language, precept for a clinical student, run a marathon, learn new topic/ day.

Stroy Monkhouse

john arber. Medicine 1971

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:25

Dean Reznick. No special resolution for this year, but a continuation of one of my adult mantras: affirm people more and affirm more people. I find that as mature physicans we are very poor at complimenting our peers, let alone those close to us.

john arber. Medicine 1971

Dear John,

I agree with the message. One can never do enough. I remember back 30 years ago when I did a fellowship in Colon and rectal surgery. I worked with a surgeon named Don Butts (an interesting name for a colorectal surgeon). Don was a terrific man and a very religious man. After every operation, with incredible sincerity, he looked over at me and said I thank the Lord that you were here to help me operate on this patient, I absolutely could not of done this operation without your help. I must admit, I first thought it was a bit hokey, but after hearing that message almost every day for three months, it really dawned on me that Dr. Butts was saying this in a very genuine way. It was quite remarkable to see the effect. He imbued in the surgical team a sense of great confidence, mutual respect, and appreciation for the work that we were doing on behalf of our patients. It was a lesson that was well-learned, and your comment underscores the value proposition of being nice all the time and appreciating the good work of our colleagues.All my best, best Richard


Tarry Jon

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:27

After the purchase, even knowing that the article will take weeks to arrive to your home, you begin to again check the tracking or tracking number (provided that it is included in the shipment, clear). Each of the changes of State which suffers celebrate them as a small shot of hope, that is one less day to have it in our hands.

Tarry Jon

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