My New Year’s Resolution: No More Coulda, Shoulda, Wouldas

On the dot of midnight this evening, the brilliantly lighted ball will drop in Times Square in front a million freezing people, ushering in 2014. I wish a fairy godmother would sprinkle some gold dust on my head at 12 o’clock and make all my dreams come true, but that is not likely to happen.

Instead of reflecting back on 2013 and all the things I could have done, I’m determined to look forward. I owe this resolution to my brother, and I’ve adopted it for the past few years. It seems to be working for me.

I highly recommend it to you if you’re looking back and wondering how you could have made things better for yourself, your family or your company this past year.

Here it is:

No more coulda, shoulda, wouldas

I coulda done that if I had tried harder. I shoulda done that and it would have made such a difference in my life. I woulda done that if only I had (fill in the blank).

Anguishing over what could have been is such a time waster and morale killer. Don’t do it to yourself.

I’m not a perfect person and no doubt my business could be better, my life could be better and I could be better. But you know what? Look what I have: clients that I like and respect, a loving family, a circle of dear friends, and business relationships that I cherish. They are more important than any amount of money.

I also an fortunate to live in New York, which I love. I’m so lucky.

Sure, I bought a lottery ticket when the pot hit $600 million, but that was for fun. I didn’t expect to win.

The New Year brings with it new challenges, as always. I’m looking forward to what will be, not at what could have been. So ring in the New Year. My life is looking good. Hope yours is, too.

New Year's resolutions

See you next week when I’ll be publishing a post with my favorite and most popular blog posts this past year.

Leave a Reply


  1. Interesting perspective, looking back. I tend to look at when my mind wanders and doesn’t focus on what is in front of me as a message – what is it I crave that the task in front of me doesn’t accomplish? So what you neglect to accomplish may be worth examining.

    In any case, stay warm, as the weather suggests cold in our area.

    Happy New Year, and I look forward to your post of posts.

    • Happy New Year, Leora. Ah, the wandering mind. Of course, I’ve experienced that. Just try not to let it wander to what could have been and instead, to what could be. Stay safe and warm.

  2. I sometimes reflect on what’s happened during the past year but i always always always lay down some goals for the next year and look forward – that’s my focus in the last days of the year. So it’s great, Jeannette, your brother showed you how to look forward this time of year 😀

    Stay positive, stay true to yourself, be fortunate! Happy New Year 😀

    • Diana — Happy New Year. I admire your focus on setting goals for the next year. I saw that in your last post. Good luck.

  3. Great post- lots to be thankful for and to reflect on and good point about setting goals and not worrying about the coulda, shoulda’s of life as your brother pointed out.
    Loved this and thank you for sharing!

    • Andrea — yes, I feel have a lot to be thankful for in my life, so why think about what could have been? I look forward to seeing you often in 2014.

  4. Comparison of anything is usually a losing situation. If we compare ourselves to someone else, if we compare ourselves to as you say “Where we coulda, shoulda, woulda been” – it’s all useful. A no win situation. Thanks for this post showing us it’s useless going forward into the New Year. Happy New Year Jeannette.

  5. Yep, I agree. What is the point of looking back and anguishing over something we can’t change. Looking to the future and all it’s possibilities is so much better and a whole lot more productive. have a great time tonight and a I look forward to an awesome 2014 for both of us. 🙂

    • Susan — you’ll no doubt have an awesome 2014 and thanks for your best wishes. I admire your commitment to your blogging schedule — your wonderful drawings, recipes and old-fashioned story-telling. Can’t wait to read more.

  6. I’ve been working with Susan as a career coach and she’s been helping me learn how to set more manageable goals. I know it’s going to bode well for the coming year as I learn better work habits. I’ve realized I try to look at too big a picture when setting goals, and that results in feeling overwhelmed. I agree it’s better to look forward than back.

    • Jeri — wonderful that you’re working with Susan. I use the “chip away” process. Set manageable goals. Chip away at the strategies and tactics that will help you to attain your dreams. There is so much to do when you have your own business that it’s hard not to become overwhelmed from time to time. It certainly happens to me. So sweat the small stuff and the big stuff will take care of itself.

  7. Dan — I think you made the resolution to be happy when you and your wife decided to tour the world. What a fantastic experience. So now what will you do for fun in 2014?!