I stopped making New Year's resolutions years ago, refusing to join the lists of people who sign up for gym memberships (only to stop going mid-February), diet clubs (ditto), classes of all stripes (double and triple ditto).
But every Rosh Hashanah, I look at that list of sins*, and it hits me in my soul: instead of spending the year thinking about doing the right thing so I could be the best person my Creator wants me to be, here I am again, frustrated that I'm right back where I was the year before. My only saving grace is knowing that pretty much everyone around me is in the same spiritual boat. I mean, clearly there's a reason that that list in the machzor, the High Holy Day prayerbook, hasn't changed in hundreds of years.
So what's it going to take for me to stop intending and start doing? I can't say.
But I do know that I intend to stop intending. And that's definitely a step in the right direction.
* The confession list is called "Ashamnu," and the list goes like this: