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No resolutions for me for 2017


I went back and looked at my last years’ resolutions and, while in many ways I had a truly incredible year, I achieved pretty much NOTHING of what I had resolved to achieve.

I did not get fit, like at all. Actually I think I got a lot less fit than I was in 2015.

I paid off most of my credit card debt, only to rack it up again.

I didn’t get the blog up to the target 12,000 visits per day.

I did not make a Face The Foliage book.

I still haven’t put away a dime for retirement.

And I had set out to ‘calm down’ about baby #2 and try and approach getting pregnant with  carefree, fun attitude —  which in many ways I did do– but it hasn’t helped in making me any more pregnant than I was this time last year.

It would seem that my resolutions really didn’t help me to push the ball forward on these matters. So why, at the beginning of each year, do I insist on creating (an then publishing!!) my resolutions even when, most of the time, it doesn’t actually provide me with the impetus or the sustained support I need to actually hold myself accountable?

In order to answer that question I have to examine the year I did have and look at what was achieved.

While I didn’t get fit or exercise nearly as much as I should, I did maintain certain healthy habits that I can applaud myself for. I cut out milk from my diet, I go on frequent bike rides. Could I do more? Hells to the yes. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

While I still have a fair amount a debt, I’m in a very different financial place than I was this time last year. I am supporting my family and a small staff of folks with my art and design work. I gotta pat myself on the back for that. I never imagined that I’d be able to support this many people through designing and blogging. It’s pretty amazing. And now the debt that we’re accumulating is mostly business debt or debt for things that are investments in our home (hello HVAC).  And that feels much, much better than the kind of debt I had last year.

I wasn’t able to grow the blog as much as I’d hoped, but hey — I never in a million years imagined that the Jungalow Instagram would grow to over 500,000 people over the course of one year. Bananas, right??

I didn’t put together the Face The Foliage book that I’d hoped to do, but I did write another book — a companion book to The New Bohemians that will come out this Fall. It’s a book I’m crazy proud of and put my heart into and the time was right for it.

As for retirement? Yes, it’s still an issue. But this year we actually will be contributing to our retirement fund for the first time around tax time, so we are on our way. Yay.

And the new baby issue. I have actually come a long way on this issue in my head. Every day I feel grateful that we had such an easy time conceiving Ida and that she is just quite simply the most amazing little person that we could have ever wished for. Would we like to have another child? Yes. But I am now at a place where I’m feeling so grateful for what we have and not always trying to plan so hard or carve out exactly what my vision is….which brings me to the conclusion for this post.

This year I am interested in setting intentions for myself, rather than resolutions. What’s the difference? In my mind, a resolution is a decision to change a course. There is a specific goal and a lot of expectations around said goal, with little room for flexibility. An intention, on the other hand, is an objective that acts as a guiding light. An intention allows for adaptation and discovery. So instead of thinking so hard about what exactly I’m going to do — it’s more about how I want to feel and an overall state of being.

So here are some examples — instead of resolving to get out of credit card debt, I am going to set intentions for feeling in control of my finances. 

Instead of resolving to meet a certain quota of blog visitors per day, I want to tap into my favorite parts of blogging and sharing and post when my heart is inspired to post.

And so it will go…

This year, my intentions are still being formed, but I know that to support my growth I need to get out of a binary, rigid mindset about what I must do to feel fulfilled and successful and really breathe, enjoy the moment and go with the flow.

Happy 2017, my friends. Thank you for being here along this dynamic and beautiful journey.




Alternative Text Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

40 responses to “No resolutions for me for 2017”

  1. Happy Happy New Year Justina!

    The last few years I have set just one or two intentions for myself and it is definitely better! I love filling out the “Unravelling” Workbook by Susannah Conway at the end of every year, and it’s fun to look back and dream forward.

    I feel you on the baby issue, we struggled for years to conceive baby #1, but after IVF last fall we are due with our first child this May! It’s a hard thing to let go of, I always tried my best to enjoy the moment but it can be a stressful thing – I felt like I constantly had to be doing something to try to make it happen, and the future can seem terrifying when you don’t know when or if it will happen. I know when it does happen for you it will be at the perfect moment. I wanted (and prepared for) this for us years ago but there are many reasons why now is the best time of all.

    I’m glad you are in a good place with this, but I am always here to talk about it if you need an ear!

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you for a REAL New Year’s post! This is real life, and I think so many of your readers (me included) appreciate your frankness and authenticity. Have the most wonderful 2017—can’t wait to see that new book!

  3. Gail says:

    Happy New Year!
    I like the concept of Intentions rather than resolutions. I’m going to use that to make a framework of what I want to accomplish this year. This year I turn 60! I’ve been re-reading your book and I think you’ve done an amazing job in one year.
    Oh and I did achieve one goal last year that I hadn’t planned on…you responded to one of my posts. Made my day. I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous 2017.

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Awww you are too kind. Big year for you! I hope your 60th year is the best one yet! Sending love and light in this new year! Hugs,

  4. Haley says:

    LOVE this! I’ve never set resolutions because I know I won’t follow through, so I started setting intentions and it feels so much better. After an uneventful and dull 2015, I promised to make my 2016 epic… and epic it was. We made lots of changes including buying a house and adding a baby to our family (our own little Ida was born in September). I’m intending to make 2017 a little more relaxing :D

    I’ve loved following along and cant wait to see what you do in the next year.

  5. Libbynan says:

    My husband and I discussed this very topic on Sunday. We both agreed that “resolutions ” are a waste of time and that it was better to decide how you wanted “to be.” Our intentions are to be kinder to ourselves, to each other, and to the world in general. And to be happy whether we feel like it or not.

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Love the intentions that you all set! Kindness and happiness are both the keys to living well. Sending hugs and happy New Year!

  6. Gigi says:

    I enjoyed this post thoroughly. I intend to chip away at some issues too. I just want to work at them, I won’t even task myself with a full 360 and set myself up for that fail. This way at least I can enjoy my year instead of loathing myself with each Mont that passes.

  7. Rusty says:

    The thing about intentions instead of resolutions is that you can reinforce them each day BEFORE you step foot out of bed, or while you sip quietly on a cup of tea before you go to bed each night.
    The key is to have no more than three….yes, 3!
    Then, the reciting of your three intentions EVERY day doesn’t become another ‘thing’ to add to your “to-do list”, but, rather, becomes a way of life. It’s like listening to a new song you’ve never heard before, but you listen and listen and listen and then you sing along and know all the words.
    Intentions…they work…as long as they’re part of your day, every day.
    Hugz, Rusty x

    PS: Justina; have you been tested for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?? My niece had a first child as a metter of course and then just couldn’t seem to get pregnant the second time. She asked her doc to test her for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and she had it – they did a course of IVF and ta-da! Success, first try. Worth thinking about and at least it rules something out, if nothing else. x

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Hi Rusty, thanks for your thoughtful comment. Good call on limiting the intentions to three. I like that a lot so that I can really focus. I will ask my doctor about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome — I haven’t looked into it yet. Hugs to you and happy New Year!

  8. Annie says:

    Hey Justina,

    I think you’re awesome, and about the debt – for me, it’s ultimately a spiritual issue. A few things that I have found to be really helpful:

    1) financial recovery / Karen McCall (and her book)
    2) Kate Northrup’s book, Money A Love Story (an easy read)
    3) Barbara Stanny – she is THE BOMB! (she has a free call on Mondays, the next one is on Jan 9, you can sign up on her website) – I really like Secrets of Six Figure Women, as well as Prince Charming Isn’t Coming and Overcoming Underearning
    4) DA meetings

    I also liked doing Dave Ramsey’s financial baby steps – I don’t agree with everything he says and I’m not a Christian, but his basic strategy is really helpful.

  9. Sel says:

    Hi Justina, wishing you and your beautiful family (and staff) a wonderful and successful 2017.
    I understand the frustration of wanting to have a second child and finding it difficult to conceive. With my first child, falling pregnant was easy. Trying for a second precious soul just didn’t seem to happen. I do not know you personally and I hope that my comment is not perceived as intrusive, judgemental or as a know it all – as that is not my intention – it comes from my heart as a mother.
    Something for you and your husband to consider is whether or not your bodies are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals that make for healthy egg and sperm and therefore conception possible. Another one is stress – physical, mental and emotional. My husband and I also worked in our own IT business when we were trying for our second and understand the enormous demands running a business brings. The biggest problem for us was lack of sleep. With a toddler to take care of, household chores, running a business and a perfectionist personality – my husband and I were only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Lack of restful sleep screws your body up on so many levels and makes conception difficult. And with both of us it did. For me, it messed up my hormones and I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue – I had burnt myself out. The experience forced my husband and I to make changes in our personal and professional lives. Fast forward to today, we have our children and we still have our IT business (which is flourishing) – but we had to make changes. I wish you all the best.

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Thanks so much for these insights, Sel. We are trying to be chill about it all and taking vitamins (and certainly working on getting more sleep! Although I’m usually good about getting at least 7 hours a night. So glad that your business and family are flourishing. Wishing you all the best in the new year. xx

      • Sel says:

        Justina, thank you so much for taking the time to reply and your kind words. My prayer for you and your family is that your hopes and aspirations for 2017 may come to fruition. Sel xx

  10. George says:

    Happy New Year Justina, Family and the Jungalicious team.

    Love this new resolve. “Intentions” are way healthier than “New Year Resolutions” which always sounded “Arduous” and too much like “Work”. Change should be approached with ease, feel natural and good. Thoughts & intention begets action and change! Here’s to watching the Jungaliciousness unfold. From what Im reading- it is already a fantastic year, and mercury is still retrograde! HA! Thank you for bringing brightness into my day 365! I look forward to seeing (all) your instagram posts and love the blog. Have a Wonderful Wednesday & a great rest of the week.

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Thanks for all of your kindness and support! Big hugs to you and wishing you all the best in 2017 (and beyond!)

  11. Omg! You & I are soul sisters, I swear to God.

    Each year, instead of resolutions, I have a ‘word’. My word for 2016 was ‘ACTION’ & I am happy with the year I had based on this word. My ‘word’ for 2017, is ‘INTENTION’.

    Like seriously Justina, you blow my mind. We must be tapping into the same universal energy! lol

    You’re fitness agenda made my laugh. HELLO. But I love this post so much, because ‘resolutions’ DO set us up to feel like failures! And we do it to ourselves, repeatedly! Insanity!

    A word. Is a much better way of moving through the universe with a purpose in & to all we do.

    Hang in there girl, its all coming for you! I promise!

    Jo x

  12. Thank you for being so honest and just…REAL. I’m doing the same this year and simply setting intentions. It’s something I can remind myself each day but not feel guilty about on December 31, 2017 if it doesn’t all come to fruition.

    LOVE you girl and love your heart!

  13. Dervla Kelly says:

    So happy for you, Justina!! and can’t wait to see that second book ???

  14. Like seriously Justina, you blow my mind. We must be tapping into the same universal energy! lol

  15. Lauranne says:

    What a fab idea, I love this. I may have to look at my intentions for next year as well as I had no idea of making any resolutions, as I didn’t want to set myself up to fail. I have a lot going on and just can’t commit but I can commit to having the intention to look after myself better. Thanks

  16. Joy Cho says:

    LOVE this! And YOU!

  17. Just catching up. Absolutely beautiful post. Here’s to a more intentional year. <3

  18. Laurel says:

    Good for you girl. This is the most refreshing post I’ve read in the new year. I also am in the no resolutions camp mainly because I already put enough pressure on myself with the day to day stuff!

    Happy 2017!

  19. Melody says:

    As I was reading this essay, this thought came to mind: There is such beauty in Truth. Thank you for not only being so fiercely honest with yourself, Justine, but also sharing your insights with us so we can all grow together. Sending you good vibes in this year of living with intention!

  20. Mila says:

    Agree with intentions instead of resolutions. I decided my one and only NY resolution this year is to be present and enjoy what I have, which is something you seem to be doing very well.

  21. Kate Yetter says:

    Your decorating style is AMAZING and inspirational. My hubby bought me your book for Christmas and it is absolutely handsdown my favorite decorating book.
    I love what you said about resolutions. Just a thought about finances. We have struggled as well. Maybe check out Dave Ramsey if you have some time. His 7 steps are awesome for getting out of debt and staying that way. Retirement is included in his plan. He has a youtube channel and a website.
    Looking forward to more amazing posts this year.

  22. very nice photo. I like it!

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