The New Year means new beginnings, and that often goes hand in hand with making a long list of resolutions you hope will better you throughout the next 365 days. But sometimes, the greatest resolution is not having one in the first place—it certainly worked for soon-to-be-princess Meghan Markle.
In January 2016, just months before reportedly meeting Prince Harry on a blind date, Meghan Markle wrote a post on her now-inactive lifestyle site, The Tig, about her tendency to make the same resolutions year after year: “Run a marathon. Stop biting my nails. Stop swearing. Re-learn French. These make my New Year’s resolution list nearly (AKA actually every) single year.” The only problem? She never seemed to achieve them—something nearly everyone can relate to.
“My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. To make my plans, and be okay if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change.” —Meghan Markle, in January 2016
“The marathon hasn’t happened. The swearing comes in lulls triggered by being overworked or feeling mighty cheeky after a couple drinks,” she wrote. “Then there’s the French—a language I studied through high school and then lost as I immersed myself in speaking Spanish with the Argentinians during my stint in Buenos Aires. I have put my little Rosetta Stone headset in my eager ears every year, resolving to do interviews en français, but much to my chagrin, it hasn’t stuck. And when it comes to the biting of the nails—well, it still happens with a turbulent flight or a stressful day. It’s unladylike. But then again, so is the swearing. Dammit.”
The disappointment that came from not checking off her goals on a list, year after year, made her want to start a new type of resolution: the complete and utter lack of one. And because of that, she opened the door to something even better.
“For this new year, the only thing I aim to do is to approach life playfully. To laugh and enjoy, to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher,” she wrote. “My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. To make my plans, and be okay if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change.”
Considering how great her life has been since, the no-resolution thing really seems to be working out in her favor.
As long as you’re focusing on being happy and open to what lies ahead, good things very well may come your way. Hey, maybe even a handsome, banana-obsessed prince—who knows?
If you’ve already made some resolutions, try these four expert-approved ways to keep them this year. Or, check out the best New Year’s resolutions according to your astrological sign.