January 11, 2023 6 min read

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    Why Are Anti-Resolutions Better Than Resolutions?

    There are probably lots of things you should do. Speaking for myself, I know I should put away my clothes at the end of every day, I should eat more kale, I shouldpay attention to my screen time notifications and finally take a hint. It's easy to set new goals based on things you should do, but they rarely align with the things you really want to do or enjoy doing. There are many reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail (and they do -- about 46% of New Year's resolutions fail after the first month) and it's easy to understand why. Not enough time, not enough energy, setting a goal that is ultimately unachievable, procrastinating, lack of accountability, and fear are some of the biggest culprits according to Forbes. But above all, the number one reason why resolutions fail is that we feel that it's another obligation added to our already-full plates. That's why we need anti-resolutions.

    Anti-resolutions aren't about adding another task to your day, they are about removing distractions and eliminating things that don't serve you or your goals. They help you to remove the things that drag you down and free you to achieve new goals, the things you truly want to do. Instead of jamming new things into an already packed schedule, loosening up on rigid self expectations releases pressure and allows room for new habits to form.  As we approach the end of the year, consider making an anti-resolutions list to meet your goals instead of the same old resolutions list that won't last a month into the next year. No pressure.

    Defining Anti-Resolutions

    What You Should Add To Your Anti-Resolution List In 2023

    Stop using buffer words in your conversations: Many of us feel like we have to "soften the blow" of asking for what we want in order to make others feel more confident. This often results in leading emails with "I just wondered if," "Sorry to ask, but," or my personal crux, "I just wanted to check in and,". It is possible to be confident while still being kind and polite. Don't stifle your confidence or back down from asking for what you need. Be clear, be confident, and be courteous.

    Stop doomscrolling while you still can:We all know that social media can be an absolute drag on our productivity and mental health. Without getting too far into the weeds, let's just say that for all the creativity and connection that can come from social media, we could all benefit from less doomscrolling (the tendency to habitually scroll through bad news). Some clever ways to break the habit of using social media apps to occupy free time is to allocate specific times to check into social media. This way, you can still get your fix without interrupting your day. Turning off notifications, moving your social media apps into a new folder, keeping track of screen time, and unfollowing people or accounts that make you feel bad are all great ways to avoid getting sucked into your social feeds.

    Break the Habit of Using Social Media Apps

    Stop to smell the roses:Simply stopping throughout the day to take a breather or to check-in with yourself and your mental state can do wonders, but we rarely offer ourselves this moment of peace. Set aside time on your calendar or pair coffee or bathroom breaks with brief stretching sessions to stay calm, focused, and in control throughout the day. You can also use this time to tune into a podcast or disappear into a soundscape to feel centered and calm. Take the walk. Order the coffee. Smell the roses!

    Stop overcommitting:It's time to stop saying yes to things you want to say no to. Luckily in 2023, more people are recognizing that spending time alone is a form of self-care. Think about what you really need and want to do and allow yourself some space by turning down that extra project or declining an invitation for drinks. Recognize how beneficial it can be to do absolutely nothing. Saying no can be extremely empowering!

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    Learn to Say No

    Stop eating past a certain time: When it comes to making a change to your diet, instead of vowing to only eat certain foods and exclude others, try to stop eating after a certain time of the day. Intermittent fasting can fit many different lifestyles and still allow you to enjoy your favorite foods guilt-free. If you follow the 16:8 intermittent fast, all you have to do is stop eating around 8 or 9 PM and by the time brunch rolls around, you will have gone 16 hours without eating.

    Stop looking for arguments: 

    Let's admit it, we all click on the controversial article and scroll through the comments section looking for an argument at times. If not an argument, we want to confirm the negative things we imagine others are saying or doing. While it's impossible to avoid differing opinions, don't seek them out. Preserve your mental health and enjoy the peace you gain from the benefit of the doubt.

    Stop skipping your supplements: As a lazy health enthusiast, I love supplements. Taking a supplement is as simple as drinking your morning cup of coffee, and it can support so many different health goals. Vitamin D3 helps me to feel happy and alert, while collagenhelps to alleviate joint pain and support hair, skin, and nail health. It's a great step in the right direction.

    Stop Skipping Your Supplements

    Stop thinking you have to drink in social settings:Going sober used to be a radical idea in some cultures, but it's starting to become mainstream. Break the trend of having to order a couple of beers or cocktails at dinners or happy hours and check out the mocktail menu instead. Although there are many health benefits to going sober, just giving yourself the option to NOT drink and still enjoy the night might change your perspective on alcohol as a whole.

    Stop giving in to trends you don't even like:Don't feel pressured to give into trends. Maybe it's a certain way of dressing, a certain way to look, how to conduct yourself on social media, or feeling pressured to keep up with family members or friends' expectations. Seriously. Even if it was a holiday gift (gee thanks for the very gen-Z wide leg jeans), if it's not a trend you enjoy, let it pass you by. You won't regret it.

    Stop negative self-talk:It’s crazy the things we get away with saying to ourselves. It can become so natural to criticize simple things and doubt our abilities. Take on the challenge of "catching your critic" in the act by recognizing when you are engaging in negative self-talk and replacing it with positive mantras instead.  

    Stop the Negative Self-Talk

    Cut out uneven partnerships: Don't waste time, energy, or resources on the same friends, family members, or even clients that consistently treat you poorly and don't give anything in return. It's okay to cut people out and work on forgiveness. In fact, there has never been a better time.

    If you truly do have the desire to achieve specific health goals (weight loss, flexibility, heart health, etc.) you don't have to give in to the status quo. Not only do these anti-resolutions free up space for more health goals, but they can also start healthy habit formation. For example, if you start taking breaks throughout the day to go for walks, stretch, or listen to an inspiring podcast, it naturally opens the door to yoga, jogging, or movement in general.

    Self-improvement really doesn't have to be disruptive or exhausting. If you're feeling resistant towards New Year's resolutions, it's okay! You can "hack" that status quo and embrace self-love by stopping old behaviors and freeing yourself to accept newer, healthier, more exciting ones.

    Summary Points:

    Anti-resolutions aren't about adding another task to your day, they are about removing distractions and eliminating things that don't serve you or your goals.

    Freeing up your time by avoiding doom-scrolling, saying yes to too many things, and cutting out relationships that no longer serve you are all anti-resolutions to consider in 2023 for a healthier life.

    When it comes to your body, consider avoiding eating or snacking late night, keep your supplement routine consistent, and curb the tendency to over-drink in social settings.

    Self-improvement really doesn't have to be disruptive or exhausting. If you're feeling resistant toward New Year's resolutions, it's okay!


    1. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-reasons-why-new-years-resolutions-fail.html
    2. https://discoverhappyhabits.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/#resolutions-success-failure
    3. https://www.fastcompany.com/40505463/why-you-should-make-an-anti-resolution-list-and-what-to-put-on-it
    4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2019/12/21/the-top-3-reasons-new-years-resolutions-fail-and-how-yours-can-succeed/?sh=106b44fd6992

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