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Anti-Resolutions, Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Let’s be frank. New year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone.

Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioral Addiction, professor of behavioral addiction, in his article, The psychology of New Year’s resolutions says that, the main reason that people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they set too many or they’re unrealistic to achieve. They may also be victims of “false hope syndrome”. False hope syndrome is characterized by a person’s unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences of changing their behavior.

This year, instead of falling into the pitfall of unachieved resolutions, unrealistic expectations and false hope, lets try something different. Lets try Anti-Resolutions.

Anti-Resolutions are a Not-to-do list. 

Instead of writing down what you want to do, rather ask yourself, “what should I stop doing?”

“Making an anti-resolution list gives you an opportunity to identify some of the ways you’ve been making your own life harder, and then use that awareness to stop doing (at least one of) those things,” says Personal Development coach Kate Hanley . Author of How to Be a Better Person.

Anti-resolutions force you to take action. Instead of saying “I will save more this year”, for example, start with, “I won’t spend money on take-away food everyday”. It’s more specific.

Here are some of my anti-resolutions:

  • I won’t eat after 7pm
  • I won’t be mean to myself after I eat a bowl of ice-cream after 7pm (yeah I said it…don’t judge me..lol)
  • I won’t make excuses when I have to go work-out.
  • I won’t take work home
  • I won’t buy lunch from the cafeteria anymore, I’ll bring a lunch box instead.

Mike Vardy, author of The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want says Identifying anti-resolutions provide a better path to what you ultimately want to do,“Having a list of things you’re not going to do is easier to achieve,” he says. “If I know what I don’t do, it’s easier to live intentionally.”

What are your anti-resolutions this year?

~Sibongile “Sibo” Tshabalala