by | Dec 28, 2016 | Gayle Lynds, The Writer's Life | 8 comments

No, the wine isn’t poisoned. Happy New Year!

By Gayle Lynds:  Every year I wonder why there’s so much insanity around New Year’s resolutions.  People worry and plan, worry and make lists.  Now that we’re approaching January 1st, I’m getting nervous.  Did you know that of the folks who make promises for the coming year, only 8 percent are able to keep them the full 12 months?  Ouch.

And yet here we are again, millions and millions of Americans making resolutions.  Yes, millions!  Some 45 percent of us do so every year.

Did any of yours make the U.S. Top Ten?  Check them out….
1. Lose Weight  (I’m “yes” for this.  Too much culinary good cheer around here.)
2. Get Organized  (An on-going issue in my office.)
3. Spend Less, Save More  (There should be a semicolon, not a comma between the commands. Did I mention grammar is a good distraction?)
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest  (Mine’s too full to enjoy it all.)
5. Stay Fit and Healthy  (See #1 above.)
6. Learn Something Exciting  (That’s one of the reasons I write novels – I get to learn lots of things, many of them exciting!  Wahoo!)
7. Quit Smoking  (People still smoke? OMG, give me some of that second-hand stuff!)
8. Help Others in Their Dreams  (Amen.)
9. Fall in Love  (Doing that every day with John, thank you very much.)
10. Spend More Time with Family  (If all of them would only move to Maine!)

Just reading the list makes me feel guilty.  Am I not aspirational enough?

I remember the year my mother, Marian, and her best friend, Marguerite, resolved to lose weight.  This was in the heyday of Jack LaLanne’s TV show.  Marian and Marguerite tied together rubber stretch bands and zipped on their pedal pushers to join Jack with weight training and calisthenics.  To improve their nutrition, they gave up butter and sugar, which terrified me because like any normal little kid I loved butter and sugar. 

Then Mom and Marguerite discovered sugar-free Jell-O and Dream Whip.  Yum.  I was saved.

Did they accomplish their weight-loss goals?  No, but they had a lot of fun.  Maybe “fun” should be on the list, too?

Okay, so if you’re serious about making resolutions, the good news is that those who explicitly make them are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make them.

At the same time, there are those Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions – a whopping 38 percent.  My people.  Which is why, to avoid being a failure, I resolve yet again to make no resolutions this year.  But then there’s the clutter in my office.  O, well.

P.S.  A special thank you to the University of Scranton and the Journal of Clinical Psychology for statistics and references.  For more intel, visit Statistic Brain.

And finally, finally, the Rogues are doing another terrific SPY BAG GIVEAWAY of spy loot & our autographed books! See photo!

It’s a random drawing so everyone has a chance to win. All you have to do to enter is reveal your #1 New Year’s Resolution or Nonresolution by posting it HERE by midnight Monday, January 16th. 

Plus we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list by using the form on the award website and to follow our blog by using one of the two choices in the sidebar — either by email or RSS feed.

We hope to welcome you aboard to many Rogue adventures!

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Debi Huff

    For not making resolutions, Gayle, you are certainly good at #8 off the Top Ten List!! And we thank you for it!! Hugs!!

  2. Gayle Lynds

    Oh, Debi, that is just so sweet. Happy writing, and may 2017 bring you great publication news! x

  3. S. Lee Manning

    Don't do New Years resolutions, though I do like your list. I tend to do weekly resolutions – not that I keep them, but it's a shorter time to starting over.

  4. Gayle Lynds

    I love your thinking, S. Lee. By the week! It's so much easier to deal with and I suspect has a higher chance of success. Happy New Year!

  5. Sonja Stone

    Every year I have the same long list of resolutions–some of them I keep, some not so much. I'm happy to see I'm not alone! Thanks for the post, Gayle!

  6. Dixie51

    I love your list!! My resolutions tend to be goal oriented, and changed when I accomplish something on my list. Then I get a

  7. Karna Bodman

    Gayle – love your list, especially #5 and #8. Thanks for posting this — it made me think a lot about what to "resolve" this weekend.

  8. Chris Goff

    Interesting list. I would have guessed six of the ten. Agree with Debi Huff about #8, Gayle. Thank you.