HAPPY NEW YEAR, to you dear internet friends. You are the best.

Will I make a new year’s resolution? You bet your bottom dollar, I won’t.

Last year, I vowed it was the year of my “terrible novel.” I have long given up the dream that my (first) novel will be amazing. I have no sticktoitiveness. I also have no idea for a story. I even tried to string together a bunch of poems to see if I could write a novel that way. I spent most of my many many hours rearranging the order of the poems and in the end it made no cohesive sense. Oh and that effort happened years ago. Not this year. (If anyone out there has the patience, talent and interest in guiding me through this process, I’m all yours. All unmolded terrible novel writing clay.)

The year before last was the year I was going to “take charge of our finances.”

Remember how we needed to get the baseline of how unathletic I was before I started working out? Finance-wise, I’m unathletic. How much is our household income? Don’t know. When is my AmEx bill due? Don’t know (until I get an email notification saying that someone has already paid it). I’m embarrassed to be admitting this to you and you know I don’t get embarrassed by much.

But this year I’m not making big promises.

  1. Doing a mud run in May. I signed up for it already.

  2. Doing “Losing-it” program at my gym starting at the end of January.

  3. Maybe meet with a nutritionist.

  4. Keep writing (here).

  5. Spend time with my totally adorable kids in a meaningful and present way.

That’s it. These are not resolutions. They’re just plans. I already signed up for the mud run. If I don’t want to collapse mid-run, I’m going to have to keep up my fitness to make it through. I’m signing up for that “losing it” program at my gym. I’m not saying that my resolution is to lose weight. I’m just continuing with my progress. You get it. And I already spend all my time with my adorable girls and try to be present — not all the time — seriously, I can’t be present all the time anytime — even with my best friend, the television.


I just came across a really great article called “20 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year” which provides a pretty complete and helpful list of emotional baggage to let go of in order to free up your heart and life. I love this idea of not making big standard resolution promises. In a practical application, I’m not sure how to achieve actually letting go of those 20 things. Some of them I carry around like ugly old familiar friends. (So far in this post, it is clear I need a fiction writing teacher and a therapist.) But I might print out this list and hang it up somewhere to keep in mind.

And this is a perfect time of year to reflect on the past year. Personally, 2013 was a big year: the year I finally got my butt to the gym, I ran my first 5K, and I started this website (first “Merritt and Mary” and now we’re here). It was the year I finally started feeling like I’m not entirely governed by serving my children — of course they are my loves and my priority, but I am slowly allowing myself to explore who I am at this age. Just me. What a relief.

Tell us. Resolutions or none? Joining us for the mud run? Letting go of baggage or reflecting on the successes of the past year? Or just letting another year roll in (no judgments of course)?

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.