New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Tasks to Tackle in 2014

New Year's Resolutions: 10 Tasks to Tackle in 2014 by Diane Gottsman Etiquette Expert and Modern Manners Authority

“A few items on my list…”

I am sharing a few things on my 2014 “to do” list. Some are left over from last year, other’s are my new “to do’s”. What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?

1.     Learn to use my universal remote. What is it about that darn thing that confuses me? I am committed, right here and now, to NOT miss another movie because my teens aren’t home to help me. My frustration stops in 2014!

2.       Set up a stylish bar. If you know me at all, you are probably rolling your eyes right now because you know that I don’t drink! But, I L-O-V-E the look of a stylish bar set up and I take jillions of pictures to use as inspiration. And, btw, I do like an occasional glass of wine, or mixed drink, just not more than a thimble, unless you are open to hearing me sing – loud!

3.       Learn how to take good pictures. In my drawer at home, I have collected many cameras throughout the years in hopes of finding the “one” that will take the perfect photo. Now that my iPhone is my “go to,” I am determined to learn how to take the perfect shot. Is there an app for that? I don’t want my children to look back and remember their childhood with fuzzy shots and bad lighting.

4.       Streamline my cabinets and drawers. Similar to my camera collection, I am a bit of a collector when it comes to dishware, glassware and miscellaneous tchotchkes. I am committed to editing my “stuff” by purging, donating, gifting and above all, using what I have.

5.       Go to more parties. You might think based on my profession that I am an extrovert that loves to socialize. In reality, I am shy and prefer a quiet night at home in my pj’s with a bowl of ice cream. It was recently brought to my attention that one of my BFF’s doesn’t invite me over to large gatherings because she “knows I won’t come.” Times are a chang’n! I’m putting on my party pants and am ready to mix and mingle until the wee hours of the morning. That’s a lie. But, if you invite me, chances are good I’ll RSVP “yes” in 2014.

6.      Clean and polish my boots. I have a love affair with shoes, and my boots are some of my favorites. I tend to rely on anyone other than myself to clean them when they need attention. This year it’s going to be me and a cleaning cloth! I just need to trust my own polishing skills. There is something meditative about getting things in order and appreciating what you have.

7.       Re-read a few of my favorite books on my shelf. I would like to declare that it will be something by Winston Churchill, or perhaps Theroux, but it will most likely be something more along the lines of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (one of my favorites!), or The Secret Garden. Love, love, love! What’s on your reading list?

8.       Update my music playlist and go to the movies. I love music and I listen to Sirius radio in my car, but I never get around to adding my favorites to my playlist. I also see previews of movies I “have to see,” but then forget about them soon after. I’m going to make a list and follow through on music updates and seeing weekly movies. Now where is that darn movie app?

9.      Learn how to use my universal gym. This year, I really mean it! I really, really mean it! 

10.   Grow my bangs out. Well, okay, it will most likely never happen, but sometimes, for about three days I give it my best effort. But, my family conspicuously smirks and shamelessly giggles as I sheepishly walk around with new hair clips and headbands. I feel like a cat wearing a pair of socks! Oh well, maybe next year…

While this list may seem simple, it’s a way to make time for things that are often overlooked. This is only the beginning of a longer list to come, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and reserve the right to add tasks and delete others as the year progresses. 


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


  1. says

    I absolutely love this list! It’s simple, it’s practical, and I think one that some others may want to copy!

    I laughed about growing out your bangs. I’ve been through that a kazillion times. Cut. Grow out. Cut. Grow out. For now, I’m leaving ’em long!

    Last year I made a goal to read one book each month and I did pretty well until the end of the year when work became too busy. I usually pull titles off the NYT Best seller’s list and especially try to read any that may have movies coming out.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year, Diane!

  2. says

    Cut, grow, spend fortune on cute clips, toss cute clips, cut, grow, teens and husband look at each other and smile, cut … story of my life, ha! Always love hearing from you, Charmin. xo

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