Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

New Years Resolutions: Setting Myself Up with Goals or Disappointment?

I am a person who always gets excited for a new year. It signifies a fresh start for me. A chance to do things a little differently, hopefully accomplish more, and have a happier, healthier year than the previous. I have always loved planners and notebooks; anything that helps me feel organized. I have kept notebooks and journals since I was 10 years old. At the age of 12, I began using the pages in the books to try and organize my life in some way.

In July of the year 2000, at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and my need for these journals, notebooks, planners, agenda books, etc was magnified beyond belief. I craved control, like I know so many of you reading this. Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis (IBD) are diseases that come with an enormous amount of unpredictability, uncertainty, and pretty much can make a person feel like they have absolutely no say over what happens to their body or life. It is a scary, scary feeling to not be in charge of your own world and destiny.

As the years went on, I tried more and more to control the things I could.

Some examples of this include: the food I ate, how much I exercised, the time I went to sleep, the clothes I wore, if I put makeup on that day, whether I wore glasses or contact lenses and what I did each day. I used color coded pens and pencils and it made me feel like I was doing everything I could to help myself in some strange way. I would also make New Year’s Resolutions (like most people) and write down ways in which I hoped to achieve them. I set deadlines for myself a good amount of the time as well.

Around 2008, I became so fed up with setting all of these goals for myself and not being able to achieve them because of my inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that I stopped writing things down. I had a tons of plans, goals, and resolutions in my head but I couldn’t bring myself to put them down on paper. The act of putting it on paper and then not being able to follow through upset me too much. It made me angry. It made me feel like there was absolutely no hope. It also made me feel like a failure over and over and over again when I knew in my heart that I had so much drive and motivation.

I just needed my body to get out of my way, which seemed to never happen.

I took about four years off from writing because I couldn’t handle the emotions that came over me when I wasn’t able to have the day, week, month, or year I had hoped for. I felt like I was wasting money on cute planners, pens I enjoyed writing with, stickers, etc. Plus, setting myself up for major disappointment.

For the past five years, I have made a point to get an awesome planner that made me look forward to the year ahead. Each planner gave me hope. It brought me back to the whole “you have a fresh start” feeling. It kind of made it like the previous year no longer mattered, in my mind.

I’ve been going back and forth for the past month about whether to buy a new planner for 2018.

I don’t want to be let down if my goals aren’t able to be achieved because of my chronic illness(es). I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. BUT, I also crave the feeling of “newness.” I love spending time picking out the right type of planner, deciding what kind of layout I want for the year ahead, how (or if) I am going to personalize it, etc.

Can any of you relate to some of these feelings? Do you enjoy planners and notebooks? Does it help keep you on track? Does it cause you to feel disappointed? Is it worth it in your opinion? Are you getting a planner for 2018? Are you setting New Year’s resolutions? Let’s talk about it!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    11 months ago

    I can definitely relate. Sometimes, I over-do it and write down goals in my planner to only find that it’s too much for me to handle and then I get disappointed when I don’t follow through.

    I used to be such a planner girl. Now, I don’t even open mine. I find that at least for this moment I am in, it works best for me not to plan so much.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Poll