What to Do If Your Intentions/Resolutions for 2023 Didn’t Come to Fruition
Monday December 18, 2023

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The year that is 2023 is nearing its conclusion, and for the past 11 and a half months we have had the opportunity to bring to pass desired change in our lives. In the first post on the blog to begin 2023, the discussion centered around setting intentions rather than goals. And so whether you set goals or chose to instead set intentions, if what you had hoped would materialize in your life hasn’t yet come to pass, this post is for you.

In the final Monday Motivational post of 2023, I would like to share some encouragement to not let unrealized goals, dreams, new ways of being (intentions) discourage you from continuing forward to bring them to fruition in the coming new year, because they can and will come to fruition largely because you haven’t attained what you desired yet.

Let me explain.

I have shared in my most recent two books, examples of significant life changes in my own life that only each came about because I didn’t let my unsuccessful first attempt stop me from trying again – being given the opportunity to move to Bend (finding a teaching job) and buying my home in Bend that is Le Papillon.

In each of the first attempts, I didn’t receive the outcome I had hoped, but what I gained was far more than what I thought, errantly, I had missed out on.

First, the ponderous disappointment I felt after each first attempt revealed to me, or concretely confirmed, how most definitely this was my desired direction in my life, and while I had no doubt about this while I was making the first attempts, I can’t say that it is always the case with some of our first attempts, but it is in the non-acquisition that we discover our way.

It doesn’t mean we force forward what we are not ready to receive, but instead become the student. Why didn’t it work out? What didn’t I know that I need to understand? What didn’t I bring to the table to be successful (skills, tools, etc.) that are needed to be taken seriously, to be the best candidate, to be better able to learn, etc.

Now, it is important to remind that we cannot control what will cross our path, but we first have to be on the path to see it when it wanders by. In other words, we need to be prepared, and in each of my unsuccessful first attempts mentioned above, I wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be, but I was ignorant of this fact at the time, and it was in the first attempt that I gained this knowledge and perhaps would never have learned it anywhere else. So in essence, our first attempts aren’t meant to be successful. Often they are simply meant to be our classroom, but if we ask from it what it is not able to give us, we miss out on the awesome gifts it is trying to give to us.

Let’s get back to 2023’s unrealized goals or intentions.

Instead of viewing the past year, if it didn’t bring forth what we had envisioned, as a failure, why not view it as a classroom? Why not examine it for all of the information that you can glean so that you can apply that knowledge to be successful in 2024?

I must share that I had set an intention as 2023 that has not yet come to pass, and yes, there is/was certainly frustration with not being able to bring to pass what I had hoped would be my reality at this moment with the year’s conclusion, but I also, upon reflection, acknowledge why it hasn’t materialized just yet, and so I am making the necessary changes, applying the lessons learned so that I will give it the best possible chance to come to fruition in the new year of 2024.

A beautiful truth about not being ‘successful’ at our first attempt is something I have experienced multiple times in my own try-again-if-it-is-something-you-desire-and-is-meant-to-be-part-of-your-life-journey is that the desired outcome, when it eventual becomes a part of our life due to trying again, but with better skills and awareness, is far better than what the first attempt would have brought forth.

It’s almost as if the universe knows the first attempt is the training camp, the bike with the training wheels, and what is best suited for us, what will most align with our true self is something we cannot even comprehend until, and only if, we give it a second try with the new information we have acquired from the training experience.

“So what if you fail? At least you’ll know what not to do when you try again.” —Venus Williams

As I look at my journey to learn the French language, something I began at the age of 20, nearly 25 years ago, it is only now, as I am enrolled in FR 105, that I am discovering the cognitive journey of learning a language. Something that my younger, much more ignorant, naive and impatient self didn’t understand. And because I desired to keep trying, because there is something within me that keeps drawing me to the French language and a desire to learn it and be able to speak with ease, I knew I needed to give it more priority and investment in my life, and I also knew I had to become a different student. But the gift that all of this time in between my first attempt and my now third attempt (I enrolled in French classes here at the community college back in 2016 for two quarters) has given me is far more context, exposure and application whether it be through my travels to France or the resources of French films and television programs I have watched and continue to watch, or through the recettes (recipes) I explore due to my having taking French cooking classes. AND, likely most helpful has been the 20 years experience of being an English teacher who with each year became ever more knowledge of the construction of the English language, something I didn’t have when I was 20 beyond the proficient skills to pass a course in college, let alone teach it to 250+ students each year.

I share all of this to reassure that your first, or even second and third attempts, are not for naught if they haven’t materialized the desired results. They were your classroom and you the student. Valuable information was given to you that if you choose to shift the perspective as to why your attempts weren’t fruitful in the way you had envisioned, you now possess the keys to being successful in the ways that you had hoped your first attempt would render.

“I don’t believe in failure. I believe every setback is an opportunity to learn, regroup, get stronger, and try again.” —Roselyn Sanchez

So if you too find yourself at the end of 2023 wrestling with disappointment regarding an outcome you had hoped would be your reality by now but is not, you are not alone. I am right there with you, but I am grateful for the past year’s gifts, and I hope now you are too. I am grateful I was given the valuable information it provided because it brings with it clarity so that I can simplify my efforts and bring forth the way of being I know is possible so long as I prioritize and apply what I have learned. We’ve got this and 2024 is going to be the year, even if seemingly a dream delayed in our ‘life plans’, all is unfolding quite well because our appreciation will be deeper and our savoring will be all the sweeter.

“Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder; smarter. Persevere relentlessly.”—John Wooden

To 2024! The training wheels are now off, and we are en route to an outcome that will delight us.

~A note to TSLL readers: Look for the next new Monday Motivational post on, yep, you guessed it! Monday January 1, 2024, but before the new year arrives, I will be sharing a round-up of the TOP Monday Motivational posts in 2023 along with many other categories’ TOP posts during the final week of the year beginning on Tuesday December 26th and running through the 31st. Stop by and find oodles of inspiration you may have missed or would like to return to before we step into a new year.


8 thoughts on “What to Do If Your Intentions/Resolutions for 2023 Didn’t Come to Fruition

  1. What if I don’t have any goals? Not because I’ve accomplished them all, but because I lack of interest/motivation. I’m 67 years old and in good health with no excuses. Do you have any book suggestions or resources to help me focus on something….anything!
    Desperate, but still have a sense of humor.

    1. Where to start! 🙂 So many books! 🙂 A great place to begin is to peruse all of the podcast episodes of The Simple Sophisticate here https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/thesimplesophisticate/ as many of them are inspired by books that foster skills and tools to build a life of true contentment. You can also explore all of the books I recommend in TSLL’s Shop (click on the TSLL Shop tab in the menu bar – a drop down menu will appear, and then click Books). And I would remiss if I didn’t recommend my own books. Especially, based on what you have just inquired about – goals/intentions – my second book – Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everyday Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self – https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/tsll-books-2/
      I hope that helps! And thank you for stopping by. 🙂

    2. Cara, absolutely valid and yay you for listening to that inner yearning! And whatever you choose to do doesn’t have to be seismic. I love having daily morning readings and a moment for just sitting. I happen to have incorporated yoga but soooo not necessary. Just make sure you have a moment of peace for just you. Have a cuppa, sit for a moment, and I recommend for your daily morning read, Shannon’s “The Road To Papillon”, which is full of lovely ideas, reminders, ahas, and suggestions for further reading, music to listen to, and things to bake! Oh my, 2024 i going to be such a lovely time of discovery for you! Peace and quiet joy to you and yours. xxRona

  2. Well Cara at 68 I kept mine really simple for 2023. I have always hooked my bra in the front and yanked it around. So my goal for 2023 to challenge my poor arthritic hands and dexterity was to hook it from the back. It’s 12/18 and other than a moment of forgetfulness after a relaxing facial last week, which I realized and stopped. I have accomplished that goal 😁. Not sure what’s on for 2024 yet. LOL

    1. Josanne, you made me guffaw, I so can relate. I make sure I reach up and behind to scrub my back to shift those joints and muscles. I can still clasp hand to hand behind my back! Yay yoga! Hands and fingers, eek. I’m taking up juggling with balls again(have clubs, will attempt MUCH later in the year…) to keep those knobby joints lubricated. And that I can always do the Live Long & Prosper sign. 😄🖖🏼xx

  3. I have always dreamed big, I guess is a way to describe, of my hopes for the new year. I promise I will ‘do’, not just try, sincerely. So I scaffold a successful pathway, to my best ability. And it soon becomes apparent where my true interests lie, where my abilities can go. Where I am willing to go, for now. Very important lessons to be learned and explored from that as well. The point is, I believe, that to be engaged in living your life, curiosity and discovery must always be welcomed and encouraged. We are by design creatures of endless curiosity, discovery, and application of what was yielded in that search. We have many distractions. Why not pick a point, say the New Year, to promise to tend to our curiosities, our discoveries, and our better life? And know there are never any failures, only more discoveries to be relished and pursued?xx

    1. Rona,

      Setting an intention of tending to our curiosities sounds like a most lovely and worthwhile road to travel. Thank you for the suggestion and for all of your contemplations on today’s post. 😌

  4. As I begin reflecting back on 2023, and reviewing a few of my annual Intentions, I am left feeling a little sad and defeated- there are several that I did not achieve, or even make a priority as the year unfolded. What happened? Life happened- both good and bad and everything in between. Life sometimes takes twists and turns that are unexpected, doesn’t it? So now, that I am already mentally taking note of things I want to focus on for next year, I am left pondering if I want to carryover some of those unmet 2023 intentions into the new year? Or Let them go? Replace them with other intentions? Ahhhh…. The joy of pondering all the things I want to do in the New Year ahead is so satisfying. I just need to remember to have grace for the serendipitous nature of life and savor my accomplishments while being gentle with intentions left undone.

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