Last Tuesday morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee and crawled back into bed. To be fair, this is what I do every single morning (don’t judge my self-indulgences, except when they include reality TV). But Tuesday was no ordinary day – Tuesday was New Year’s Day, which means I needed to make my New Year’s resolutions.

My resolutions. My re-solutions. My attempts to re-solve myself – because every single year, I think that I can. And every single year, I’m disappointed to figure out that I can’t: I cannot solve myself, no matter how many times I try. No amount of accomplishment, weight loss, or personal virtue can fix me, or any one of us.

Often, I wish that I could solve myself, because wouldn’t it be great to be in the driver’s seat of my own life. Wouldn’t it be great to call all the shots and know that if I tried hard enough, prayed hard enough, was good enough – poof – I’d be fixed. I’d be better. I’d be awesome. Best of all, I’d be in control.

I’m not big on poetry, but I remember William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” from AP College English during my senior year of high school. An ode to self-reliance and resilience, the last two lines go:

I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

I don’t know about you, but after all of my years of control-freaking, all of a sudden, that thought exhausts me. I do not want to be the master of my fate or the captain of my soul.

So this year, my “resolutions” are being reframed.

Don’t get me wrong – I have some hopes and plans for the year (climb 7 14ers, write 4 songs, run 1 half-marathon, have 0 nervous breakdowns). But if these goals come from a place of “because this will solve me,” then I’m going to wind up sorely disappointed – again.

So no more re-solutions. No more mastering my fate, or captaining my soul. Just some hopes, and daily little steps, and trusting that I’m exactly where I need to be in this moment, even if nothing is is “solved.”



  1. Greta on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM


    Love this.

  2. mrs. chesney on January 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I hope you did resolve to watch the Bachelor.

  3. Emily from Seattle on January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I stopped making resolutions years ago. :)

  4. Bree Jeffries on January 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Amen and amen.

  5. Lisa on January 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Love love love love LOVE! Thank you for exposing what I always felt to be true about resolutions but could never quite explain.

  6. mom on January 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    nothing makes me tear up like a beautiful, wise, Annie post.
    Beautifully written, and good, GOOD stuff!
    love you tons.

  7. Grace on January 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Great post Annie! Good reminder that so often the changes I want to see most in my life are the very things that I cannot make happen. I have to take a deep breath, relax and trust. So grateful for the One who is in control.

  8. Megan on January 8, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    This is what I needed to hear after a week of wondering why this new year had stopped feeling like a new opportunity. I’ve been going about it all wrong. Thank you, Annie.

  9. Nancy Holte on January 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I’m especially fond of your goal to have 0 nervous breakdowns. Love your new outlook. I quit making resolutions years ago. I set goals and give them to God. It’s just easier that way.

  10. […] happens to all of us at the start of every new year, doesn’t it? Making resolutions, resolving to re-solve what we’ve deemed wrong about our lives. As usual, I’ve decided that the root of all that’s […]

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