New Beginnings and Resolutions.


As I write this I am sitting watching the sun rise in Thailand.


During the last few days, Social media ‘flashbacks” have been popping up reminding me how I have spent my “New Year” over the last decade or so.

For us in New Zealand, the Christmas and New Year holiday is also our long summer break, so historically it has been when we have taken our major and often overseas holiday, or overseas family have visited us.

Notable events have been; doing the zip line over a slate mine in North Wales, a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon, hosting my Brother and his family from Australia, swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas, trying kopi luwak or civet coffee in Bali, fishing in the Coromandel, and this year feeding and bathing elephants at a sanctuary in Phuket. The common theme for all of these is family, beginning the New Year with the ones you love.

Working in education in the northern hemisphere the new school year began in September, but now I am based in New Zealand, work and calendar coincide so a new calendar year and a new work year start together…a much clearer start for new beginnings and resolutions.

What will I change this year?

I will be better…

I will be better at work

I will be a better mother

I will be a better wife,

A better daughter, sister and friend

A better colleague

A better mentor

A better role model

And I will be better to myself.

I will do more exercise

I will eat more healthy food

I will drink less

I will read more

I will give more of myself to others

…and so this list goes on.

I could be more specific such as I will lose 15 Kgs

I will exercise for a minimum of 40 minutes three times a week

I will volunteer for at least two hours a week…

But it all becomes so contrived and controlled and doomed by measures, targets and goals…and what if I miss a target or fail to meet a goal…oh it all sounds so exhausting and depressing.

So, I will start with what I am proud of, I will look at my strengths and build on those. I will celebrate my achievements and resolve to continue growing.


The New Year is just another day when I can wake up, breathe deeply and feel gratitude. At work I have a few new exciting projects and a few old projects that I hope to breathe new life into. If I am going to make a resolution it is to take time to “smell the roses”, to notice the good in people, to say thank you more, smile at others, to be open, honest and truthful. If I feel sad, or scared, if I feel anxious or concerned, happy or excited, I am going to listen to my gut, I am going to thank my body for allowing me these feelings in the knowledge that my response has purpose, and I am going to choose to share those feelings without shame, without fear, and with the intention of personal growth.

I have learned so much over the last few years about myself. I have felt more deeply than ever before. I have noticed. I have acknowledged. I have spoken out. I have allowed myself to be. I have embraced vulnerability, seen my imperfections and dared greatly (Thank you Brene Brown). As I look to the future, I am going to build on these things; that is my resolve.

When I went to Thailand, I met up with my mother, my sister, my brother, niece, nephews and their families. The one thing I wanted to do was to dance on the beach in the moonlight. At the stroke of midnight, we were all together, music played and we danced on the beach in the moonlight.

I am grateful, so grateful for so much, mostly I am grateful for family.

Ruth Foulkes


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