Forget New Year’s Resolutions, Make a To-Don’t List

So this post may be a few days late, but I feel that it’s still around that time where people are setting goals and making their New Year’s Resolutions that we all know no one will keep.  Unfortunately, I’m not even being sarcastic with that one.  According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolution – which is kind of depressing.  92% of us set goals and never achieve them.  Why? I’m sure there are a billion reasons out there that psychologists and therapists and analysts have put together as to why no one ever achieves their goals.  But here’s mine: it’s too hard to do stuff.


Tobias Funke knows why we don’t keep our resolutions.

Right? Sometimes doing stuff is just too difficult. So this year, I’ve made an anti-Resolution, a Stop-olution.

Now to clarify about “doing stuff”:  In a lot of ways, it is easier to stop an old habit than it is to start creating a new habit.  I kind of just made that up, but I’m sure there’s research to prove it. (Ha! Here it is: The Secret to Breaking Bad Habits in the New Year, from Forbes)

Well, at least one guy agrees with me.  But this really isn’t about any of that.  The point is that most of us spend a lot of time doing stuff that doesn’t really matter.  And, instead of using a date (which, by the way is pretty arbitrary) as the catalyst to change your habits, why not do it now? Or any other day of the year?

You and I are wasting so much of our valuable time on Earth doing random garbage that really doesn’t need to be done – or at least as frequently as we do it.  (Disclaimer: This does not give you an excuse not to bathe.) We all could be so much more productive and happier if we simply cut a few things out of our day, rather than adding more into it.  We’re all turning into those kids who go from School to soccer to Karate to ballet to dinner (at 11 pm) before they start their homework.

But how do we break this cycle? By taking 5 minutes and looking at your day and asking yourself: “What do I really need to do?”  Do I really need to check my email 30 times per day?  Do I really need 3 email addresses forwarded to phone? What do I really need to be focusing on, and what can I delegate?

So, let’s simplify a bit and make ourselves a “To-Don’t” list. This year, before you go make the greatest New Year’s Resolution of all time, first consider what you don’t have to do, and that may just be enough.


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