Hopes and Resolutions for 2019


Today our winter weather climbed to a healthy -21 degrees F with a windchill of -51. And with the extreme cold, life has slowed even more as schools and businesses closed down and families hunkered down into blankets with books and television remotes and mugs of hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. We spread out a new puzzle, mixed a few drinks, and simmered some coconut broth for an Asian noodle soup.

We’re almost a full month into 2019, and I’m still trying to figure out what works for me in terms of ringing in a new year, choosing resolutions, and setting goals. I like the idea of setting intentions for a new year, but strict, regulated short-term goals just don’t work for me. I tried that model all last year and failed miserably almost every month. After struggling with guilt throughout 2018, I thought I’d simply focus on choosing a word and theme for 2019 and leave it at. Then, a few days into the new year, I discovered an intriguing intention-setting idea from one my favorite bloggers, A Cup of Jo—a more and less list.

Rather than setting static goals like “read 25 books” and “cook 4 meals a week,” the more and less list simply outlines what you want more of and less of in the new year. Perhaps it’s more joy, more home cooking, more family time, more evening walks, less anger, less friendship drama, less junk food.

This idea resonated with me because I tend to feel paralyzed with shame when I set goals (even simple ones!) and fail to meet them. The more and less list sets the intention and then leaves room for change to happen at a sustainable pace. How freeing and wonderful is that? Slow growth, sustainable change has always made sense to me, and this approach to the whole new year resolution tradition felt steeped in slowness and sustainability. If you’d like to take a look, here are a few items from my list:


  • Tea drinking

  • Sitting in the woods, camping, walking by the lake

  • Cooking/Baking beyond my comfort zone

  • Reading, particularly genres and voices I don’t typically tune into

  • Kindness

  • Singing and poetry writing

  • Generosity

  • Vegetables

  • Yoga

  • Childlike wonder and curiosity

  • Faith exploration


  • Fear

  • Judgment of others

  • Excess, clutter, and materialism

  • Impatience

  • Sugar

  • Trashy television

  • Eating out for convenience’s sake

  • Expectation of the worse outcomes

  • Selfishness of my time and resources

  • Wasted food

What do you think? If you took this approach to resolutions, what would be on your list?

In your corner,
Angelina Danae