New Year's resolutions

Top Ten New Year Resolutions

26 December 2021

7.1 MINS

Every New Year is a fresh opportunity to start anew. Take this chance to assess your life and implement achievable steps to practise good habits and prioritise what matters most. We each have only so many years on this earth — make this year a great one!

Only six more sleeps and we all enter the New Year together. How exciting! A New Year always brings new opportunities. Hundreds of millions of people will make New Year resolutions. In one 2021 survey, 31% of people said they plan to make such pledges.

Of those who made a resolution in 2020, 35% kept them, 49% kept some of them and 16% failed at keeping any of their resolutions.

I hope this does not discourage you from trying. I am a great believer in having a go. To me, the glass is always half full, not half empty.


Many years ago, Mercer and Arlen wrote a very famous song that sums up my feelings on the matter:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.”

So, let’s give the new year a run for its money and make some resolutions in the wake of Christmas 2021.

Let me give you my top ten resolutions to inspire you, but please make your own New Year resolutions and don’t be limited. Make them BOLD. Here we go!

  1. Talk to Family More: put more effort into my close relationships.

This is a perennial goal of mine and yet I fail at it constantly. This reminds me of the quote by Tim Hansel, “It takes time to be a good father. It takes effort — trying, failing and trying again.” Reed Markham put it this way, “Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.

I say talk because this is something I fail at. I tend to withdraw to silence unnecessarily. For some people, this goal could be to spend more time with family. This is all about being in the moment more with the ones you love.

If you constantly fail at a noble aspiration, does that mean you should give up, or try even harder? I am a try-hard, so I will go with the latter. This one is important and that’s why it’s at the top of my list. How about you?

  1. Keep Moving My Body: and try to move it even more in 2022.

From a movement point of view, 2021 has been the worst year in the last twenty years for me. We were shut out of our 24-hour gym, firstly by the lockdown and then by the vaccine mandates. Sadly, most men I know have developed a covid belly, and I am one of them.

The good news is, we are back at the gym with a vengeance. Yes, we are going to keep moving our bodies this year and endeavour to move them more than last year, lockdown or no lockdown. Exercising more is the number one New Year’s resolution and for good reason. If you don’t lose it, you will lose it.

  1. Keep Eating Healthily — and eat less.

Dr John Tickell’s book Laughter, Sex, Vegetables and Fish — 10 Secrets of Long Living People impacted resolutionsme greatly. I changed my lifestyle and began to eat with purpose. More greens, more vegetables, smaller servings of meat along with a weekly gym program of cardio and weights.

I also practice both regular and intermittent fasting, more for spiritual purposes, but I know that fasting is good for my body as well. Intermittent fasting is now quite a fad.

However, my eyes are still bigger than my stomach and I am a sucker for all-you-can-eat buffets. This will all have to change in 2022. Eating healthier is usually a close number two on most lists.

  1. Make My Bed — every day.

Don’t tell anyone, but I am a slob at heart. I really identify with the lyrics, “What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us.

Many times, I have heard the old adage, “To make a difference in the world, start by making your bed,” but it was Jordan Peterson who nailed me on my sloth. His big challenge is that in order to change the world you have to start with the small things. Do them first and do them well. This is the best way to change the world.


As I am a devotee of Pinkie and the Brain, who both want to take over the world, this is something I have been working on. My wife has been patient with my sloth over many years, but now I try really hard to make the bed or help her to make it. Yes, it is making a difference and yes, I will keep working at it.

  1. Keep Working on My Goal-Setting.

If you know me, you know I am a goal-setter, but sadly I give up on my goals because of my failure to keep them. This is not a good reason. All the stats show that people who are successful set goals and keep at them until they break through. That is in areas of business, sport and education. It also works for families. Les Brown wisely said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.

  1. Do Less and Achieve More.

The Pareto Principle, a management rule made famous by Richard Koch, states that 20% of the activity produces 80% of the results. This has been shown to apply to every area of life in so many different ways. Sometimes the ratio is different, say 70% – 30%, but it all comes down to prioritising, another name for goal setting, your life.

The bottom line is that you have to learn how to say ‘no’. My recent article on How to Be a Great Dad, inspired by Leo Babuta, has really challenged my thinking. His passion is to live with less and yet, at the same time, do more.

As Leo Babauta said, “Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.” His concluding words really nail the challenge of 2022 and life in general, “Don’t rush, go slowly. Be present.

  1. De-Clutter — for me, this is a big one.

I am a details kind of guy, a poor perfectionist if you will. I am also a budding historian at heart, so I like to keep a record of the past, ie. I like to keep things. The problem with this is that if you are not an organised person, this can swamp you. My desk is a classic example. It is a mess. I clean it up every six months, but the mess then accumulates.

My wife has just finished a 15-week decluttering course called Buried In Treasures. Her passion for de-cluttering is starting to rub off. Minimalism, or the idea of getting rid of clutter in order to enjoy life, has a lot of appeal. The challenge is to do it. This is the year. As Leo Babauta says,

Simplicity boils down to two steps: identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.

  1. Have More Holidays i.e. work less

I admit to being a recovering workaholic, who is still in recovery. In some ways, it is my greatest challenge. I think work is noble, especially if you can enjoy it. But work can also be a trap for our male ego, where we so identify with our work that it becomes us. As Dolly Parton said, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.’ So yes, I’m going to have more holidays next year.

  1. Pray More

For me, prayer is my passion. I am not alone. Thirty per cent of Australians pray and meditate most days or at least once a week. One survey said that the total number of Australians who either pray occasionally or more regularly is 44.5%. Another survey puts that figure at 50%. Whatever the case, prayer is far more popular than we are led to believe.

Just recently, with my good friend Kurt Mahlburg, we released a book called Power of Prayer – Personal Stories and Strategies for Mountain Moving Prayer. That has been an invigorating experience and an encouragement for those who read it. My challenge is to live it.

As Mother Teresa said, “Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God Himself.” Another quote by Mother Teresa puts it all into perspective, “He wants us to be more childlike, more humble and more grateful in prayer.” MC Hammer said, “You have to pray to make it today.

  1. Do More Things that Bring You Joy – and fewer things that don’t.

I was talking to my daughter before Christmas, and she told me she was framing her New Year resolutions as doing more of something good and less of some things not so good.

It comes back to making the right choices about the right things. Life is a decision. You have to keep making the right ones. The key is to live out of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Everyone is different, but we can unite around the word JOY. Do more joyful things in 2022 and do less unjoyful things, and you will have a happy New Year. Yes, it is that simple.

Let me conclude my own Ten New Year resolutions with the famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It is on my office wall so that I don’t forget its wisdom.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


Make up your own list of New Year resolutions and stick them on your wall. Your family will be better off for your boldness.

Yours for a joyful New Year,
Warwick Marsh

PS. If you share my passion for prayer, I invite you to take part in the New Year’s Day Sunrise Prayer Relay. Great way to start the New Year. Here is the video promo I did with my friend Pat Steele. For more info or to register, go to


First published at Dads4Kids. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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  1. Kaylene Emery 7 January 2022 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you Warwick. You have provided a banquet in this article, and I will return to it many times I think.
    Like you I love prayer it is the spine in my relationship with Jesus. I broke my spine once a long time ago but He fixed it. At the time I hardly noticed – but that was long ago, now my favourite place to be is this, moment no matter how challenging it is.
    God bless you n yours.

  2. Kaylene Emery 7 January 2022 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Just re watched your 1st video and consequently subscribed to Prince. I remember hearing the eagle story 37 years ago, then life happened and I forgot the story….as we do.
    Life just happened again and I remember it once more.
    The implications for our young n old n not so old are endless because its a teaching story isnt it.

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