Dear Reader, whether you do them or not, whether you’ve got some or not, they are around this time of year,  and this year I give you a very real way to realize those resolutions!

Why do we even have this practice of NYE resolutions? Everyone of us wants to have a chance to do things over again or to try again or to start fresh. It’s the time of the year when we get to start again, or at least feel like we get to start again. We see the end of one year while on the horizon of the beginning of a new year. So we think, sure, I can start this year differently. Then perhaps we say or think about something specific we’d like to see different this new year.

I will say what maybe you’re not so sure about—yes it can be different. Yes you can realize those resolutions. Yes, 2018 can be your year. I don’t know what that might entail but you can set yourself up in a real way to realize those resolutions. Like any change, we each have a part that is our responsibility. Your responsibility is to set yourself up healthfully and to do what you can do to maintain that health.

Now, are you ready for your part?

A Real Way to Realize Your Resolutions – start with a framework and then set up specific and practical items into a realistic strategy. If you set real objectives into a realistic strategy you will realize those resolutions. I’m talking about a framework to allow your life to flourish this next year. Like any framework, it will only allow for the real growth you want if you really set it up and maintain the frame. The framework exists of one question: what is in your life when you are your healthiest and best self?

Go on, think about it for a couple of minutes and maybe write out some specifics.


Coming back to the framework question, we see that it is simple but there are many specific and practical items you can glean to fill out your realistic strategy.

Once you have your specifics then it’s time to support the strategy. 

If you need some suggestions for your specifics or practical items, here are a few with some questions to help you process

  • Real Hope – what gives you the belief that things can be better? What helps you know you have what it takes?
    • Hope is a substance that is fueled by joy, gratitude, and faith.
    • Got some fear or hurt instead of hope? That’s the human experience and that can change too. Healing from fear and hurt with the desire to grow hope is deeply connected to our spirituality. For me, that includes being grateful, praising through song and painting, and talking with God and listening to Him. That’s hard when I’m hurt or afraid, but my faith in the character of God helps me to connect in relationship with God who does heal and does fuel my hope. Need a hand with the hope/hurt/fear trio? There’s plenty of trustworthy and grace-filled professionals and spiritual leaders, and I’m happy to be one of those you consider so you can have real hope again.
  • Real Limits – what do you have to work with right now?
    • Limits are those things which are in our given life stage that have a stopping place: time, energy, pace, boundaries, money
    • When you take stock of what you have available you are more likely to be realistic with your specifics and your strategy. Just because you don’t have something now doesn’t mean you won’t have it later. It does mean you work with what you have so that you can get to where you want to be later. Often times that means realizing you can do it alone and there are people you need to help.
  • Real Friends – who knows and believes in you? Which people have helped you get and stay healthy? Who has supported you with healthy boundaries? Who has stuck by your side, challenged you on your crapadoo, and also helped you grow?
    • Don’t have those kind of “friends” yet? They are out there. Get a mentor, coach, or counselor to help you get rid of any past stuff that’s messing with your ability to get and maintain great friends.
  • Real Food – what fuels you best? What do you eat and drink when you feel your healthiest? What food and drink creates a limit on you and you need to avoid? What amount can you spend each week to fuel yourself on whole, real, food and drink?
    • Food is not a resolution. Food is fuel and is fun!
    • Not sure about the specifics? This is where a dietician, nutritionist, whole health doctor, or possibly a personal trainer can help you with testing to assess what really is helpful for your body. The session or sessions with these professionals are totally worth it, so move some $ around for this investment into you.
  • Real Rest – what helps you rest deeply? When is a time you were really rested for more than a couple of days? What did you do/eat/drink/etc during those days? What does your body, brain, and soul need to be rested?
    • Rest does not involve checking out, scrolling, swiping, smoking, toking, or dosing. Rest is a whole person refreshment.
    • Is rest hard to find? It might be worth it to check in with your medical doctor or a brain wellness practitioner (like to see if your gut, body, and brain are in a place TO rest. It is possible for our guts, bodies, and brains to be unable to rest. Life, allergies, adulting, stress, and other things get in the way of natural rest. Thankfully we have great resources that can re-calibrate our guts, bodies, brains and therefore relationships so that we can receive real rest.  
  • Real Fun – what refreshes you the healthiest? What do you do that lets you feel like a kid or feel free or just laugh deeply? Whats a new activity you have tried lately or wanted to try that was actually fun and healthy?
    • Real fun doesn’t need a stimulant of any kind and is something you would love to invite the person you most respect to have “fun” with you.
    • Not sure about where or what is fun AND healthy? A mentor, coach, counselor or someone who you think has healthy fun might be able to help! You may also want to try a few things that are healthy and see which you enjoy and help you be the best you.
  • Real Love – what does it look like to love well as a loved person?
    • We are all created by love and designed to love and be loved. Love isn’t mushy or greeting card or cable channel designed. Love is real, strong, tender, present, pursuant, trusting, kind, gentle, hope-filled, forgiving, healthy and helps us be our best selves so we can love others into their best selves too.
    • Missed the love boat? It happens and #thestruggleisreal. Love is more than just romantic, even though around NYE we think about that kiss tradition and more. Love is what you and I were made by and for. So we have it within us and we can choose healthy ways to have that need met. Love can be found even when we are messed up, hurt, or getting over the past. Love can be given even when we don’t feel it ourselves. If you feel like you’ve missed the love boat for the umph time, a coach or counselor might very well be helpful to clear the decks of any baggage or hurt or mistrust, and to help you chart a course for reality—not fantasy island and not to be lost on some messed up cruise.

Did any of those suggestions help with your specifics?


Now that you’ve got your specifics and any additional ones from the above specifics, it’s time to support your strategy.

The best strategies are supported.

The best support for your strategy connects to how you process, think, and achieve.

For me supported strategy means three things:

  • People support – who knows about my specific things that help me be my best self? Who can I ask to either keep me accountable or to encourage me to keep going? Who will celebrate the little steps and the process with me on the way to the big goal?
  • Visual support – where can I post an image or a few images that remind me of why I am doing this and where I am headed? What media can I employ in my world to keep the visual support in front of me? What rotation of images can I use so I don’t begin to ignore, neglect, or get bored of the reminders and navigation?
  • Calendar support – which calendar(s) will I use for reminders, appointments, tasks, and meetings? Which of these can I sync? Who do I want to share my calendar(s) with? Can a calendar also be a visual support for me?

Those are my 3 steps to create my supportive strategy because of how I process, think, and achieve.

 When I apply those 3 steps I have a supportive strategy that allows me to achieve those specifics that fill out the framework of what helps me to be the best me. As I am the best me then I’ve set myself up to realize a resolution(s).  This is the real way to realize resolutions, and yes it comes through that other “r” word mentioned earlier, responsibility.

When you and I take responsibility for our moments each year, we create the reality where we can realize resolutions.

So dear reader, don’t leave your next year up to chance, or up to waiting and seeing, or up to a fortune cookie, or up to the possibility, but this next year realize your part and start a real way to realize your resolutions – start with a framework and then set up specific and practical items into a realistic and supported strategy.


Connect with me and let me know how it goes!





Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and with husband David Lawrence co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at  or


Photo Credits:

Photo from, Graphic on Canva

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