When we were children, we would watch a hilarious British movie called ‘Dinner for One’ on New Year’s Eve. Every year, an old butler had to repeat many rituals he didn’t like while serving at his master’s 90th birthday dinner. Before doing so, he always asked, ‘The same procedure as last year, Madame?’



Whenever I think about New Year’s resolutions, this question comes to mind. We are always ready to make numerous plans before the New Year begins. The chances are that most of the standard resolutions will look familiar to you; more exercise, lose weight, get organized, learn a new skill, learn a new language, save more money, quit smoking, spend more time with family, be more relaxed with the children, read bedside stories every evening, live life to the fullest and so on.

We are convinced and fully committed to our resolutions when we make them. We have a strong will that the year ahead will be different – this year we will do it! What happens to all of these grand plans just a few weeks after the New Year has started? Have you started to change your life? Or is it ‘The same procedure as last year?’



Most people don’t, and one reason is that the resolutions are too drastic. Avoid decisions that sound great but are unattainable. In fact, make them something you will enjoy. They can still be difficult, but that doesn’t mean they have to make you miserable. So, don’t give up. Instead, set new goals and define them very precisely, with clear steps on how you will achieve them.

And please, don’t forget, the most important resolutions don’t start with the New Year but every morning; again and again. Try hard today to be a little better than yesterday!

Philipp Graf von Hardenberg
Philipp Graf von Hardenberg

Dr. h.c. Philipp Graf von Hardenberg is Founder of the Yaowawit School Kapong in Phang Nga (yaowawit.org), President of the Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort Phuket (thanyapura.com), Chairman of the United World College Thailand (uwcthailand.ac.th) and a member of the International Development Committee of the United World College (uwc.org) movement

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