Do the French make New Years resolutions? We delve into the topic here at PumpjackPiddlewick

Making New Years resolutions is something I grew up around. But I hadn’t really thought, until now – Do the French make New Years Resolutions?

And the answer is ‘mais oui’, yes they do. But they don’t call them ‘resolutions’. Rather they have ‘good intentions’ for the new year. Bonnes intentions pour la nouvelle année.

Good Intentions

Now I for one love the concept of intentions over resolutions. The former offers up more flexibility, less time constraint and all around starts the new year with a more mindful less stress perception, to my mind.

In reading up on the topic, these intentions vary quite significantly from the ‘will lose weight’, ‘get healthy’, ‘exercise more’ typical resolutions that resound in the new year. Interestingly you can easily tell which posts, vlogs, etc were written by non-French, or at least for a non-French audience, as the phrases being offered up about New Year’s resolutions includes most of these. (Just do a quick google of New Year’s Resolutions and you will see what I mean.)

French Intentions?

There are actually very few posts on French resolutions (at least in English, but also very few – count them on one hand -in French) to be found on the internet. This is because French good intentions are much more personal.

They may be centred around completing a project, like grow more vegetables. Or mindfulness, such as spend more time with my elderly neighbour this year.

Learn French

Interestingly, in searching New Years Resolutions and France the most typical ‘resolution’ that shows up is to learn more French. That sort of makes sense that it would be so popular. If you are living in France or intend to visit, learning French is very important. So if one must undertake a resolution, this is quite a good one. (Far healthier for the mind, at least, than worrying about calories.)

And yet weirdly, (English) blogs/vlogs that offer up French learning on New Years resolutions trended towards translations about weight and diets. So very not French!

In example, and should you still be so inclined, I particularly thought this collection of vocab quite ironic:

Cette année je vais …This year I’m going to …
Perdre du poidsLose weight
Faire plus du sportDo more sports
Passer plus du temp à la gymnaseSpend more time at the gym

So I am definitely adopting the French concept of intentions over resolutions. And like the French, I am keeping them personal. They aren’t tick box, done that concepts, but rather mindful in their nature. And that works well for me.


Love French culture or consider yourself a francophile? I hope you will check out My Shops:

French Silk Scarf ~ selling, you guessed it, French Silk Scarves.

Taking Time Too ~ showcases predominantly French ephemera that you can download and print for your craft projects.

And of course my PumpjackPiddlewick Shop, offering up vintage and antique fab finds from France. Here’s a taste…

Simply click on an image to see more.

You can also find out more about France in my French Findings. And if you enjoy my musings, find them helpful or insightful, consider nourishing my writings through nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick.


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