Goodbye 2022. Welcome 2023!

We just exited the 2022 calendar and just entered the year 2023! The spirit of Christmas was all over the world.

We left 2022 with my family celebrating together and rejoicing as one big family on December 25 with five children in-person in California and one via Zoom.

Tweety and her husband Jonathan, with their young daughter Hawaiian-born Ellie from South Carolina arrived a week before Christmas. Paul, our youngest who is from Hawaii, arrived three days before Christmas and Jojo (without his wife Alvi and children Kayla and Bibay) from Florida arrived just in time for the Christmas celebration. Of course, our son Jayson and daughter May were still living with us at that time.

Gigi and husband Eric from Sydney, Australia joined us via Zoom breaking all the physical boundaries that separated us throughout the year. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it allowed us to be together despite the distance.

We spent Christmas in our daughter May and Steve’s house in their newly built house in Manteca, California. And the following day, we celebrated the traditional Christmas party of our extended family up to the fifth generation at Allyson and Efren’s house in Livermore.

While we put up our modest Christmas tree with gifts under it, we always had in mind that gift-giving was just incidental during the holidays.

We celebrated it the frugal way and we still retained the Christmas spirit. We wrapped things that the children can use in their daily life and things they need to wear and use most of the time.

After all, it is the giving that matters and receiving is just a gesture of thankfulness.

This 2023, our desire to move forward will be stronger than ever and our attempt to fill out whatever deficit we had in the previous year should be effectively executed.

We believe in transformation because our big break is within reach and all it takes is hard work, determination, and a nurturing ambition. There’s always hope for improvement in every New Year we face. That’s what we will do because we believe that our career will progress at a commanding rate in the New Year, and obstacles along the way will be swept aside as if they’d never been there before. The tools for change are within our disposal, so we shall utilize them to good use and transform our life for the coming year.

We will, of course, embrace the challenges ahead of us because this is what we are judged and to be victorious at the end. These are easier said than done but we will strive to fulfill them as we are triggered by our desire to be transformed during the New Year… which we were not able to do in 2022.

This is the time to make new year’s resolutions because a new year can be a great time to set intentions and look for ways to make positive changes in the months to come. Just remember to set realistic goals and things that are simple and reachable. Otherwise, we are doomed to fail in pursuing our New Year’s resolutions since general and unreasonable intentions are difficult to comply with.

While most New Year’s resolutions fail, despite this, we do it anyway! A study made in 2007, conducted by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people, showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail. Well, if that is the case, why is there still a need for a New Year’s resolution? With almost everybody breaking their promises immediately after making them, and after jumping when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31, 2022 during the countdown: do we still have to make resolutions?

In real life, yes! Most people make their New Year’s resolution because it is crucial to our life. If we make one, we set a goal that we aspire to attain. On the other hand, if we do not – there is no direction – at all, in our life!

While there are popular goals or resolutions people go for, to me, the most important, should be to keep the family together. If your family is one, united, and well-connected – maintain it by all means! If there is a lot of disconnections, dysfunctions, and misunderstandings – pick up the pieces and put them together.

So, with that, let us make and nourish this year’s resolution to greater heights. Make the family the center of our heart, the center of our life, the center of our existence. In fact, make it the center of everything we do in life without any mental reservation!

In the same study, it showed that the most common reason for participants failing their New Year’s resolution was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents, the study further showed, claimed they made too many resolutions.

As to success rate, the study mentioned better chances of achieving one’s resolutions when we engage in goal setting (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”); when we make our goals public and get support from our friends; and when we talk with a counselor about setting goals and New Year’s resolutions.

So, if only we can set up realistic goals, things that are attainable and easy to comply with… we may have a better success rate in accomplishing our resolutions!

But the reality is, with or without a New Year’s resolution, we can do many good things in our life. If we can set our New Year’s goals and can commit to these resolutions, our life will even be more meaningful… it will have a direction, there is a goal we can aim for and attain, as we live the New Year with a charted future!

So, wherever we are in this world, let’s face the New Year, embrace it, and let’s do it with the hope that it will help us for the better! And… don’t forget our traditions that go with the New Year. Know your roots!

Goodbye 2022! Welcome 2023! So, belated Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa ating lahat!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at

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