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New Year + Same You = Say Hello to Anti-Resolutions!

By Beth Clark • January 01, 2019

New Year, Same You

New Year = Let the resolutions begin! Orrr...not. 2019 is new, but really, you woke up the same old you (older if you overindulged NYE), so maybe it's time to embrace your real, gloriously imperfect, weird self and say hello to anti-resolutions instead of the same old same old. (And good-bye to celery without peanut butter and raisins!)

A Quick History of New Year's Resolutions

The practice of making New Year's resolutions most likely began around 2000 BC with the ancient Babylonians, who made them to stay on the good side of the gods. Ditto with the ancient Romans (different gods; same concept) who came along a couple of millennia later.

Fast forward another two thousand years, and New Year's resolutions are primarily only customary in Protestant-influenced countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and South Africa. The majority no longer have religious ties like they once did, with things like losing weight or getting in shape, living life to the fullest, and spending less being three of the most common.

Why Resolutions Mostly Suck

A lot of resolutions are joy-killers that are really negative in nature. Others are unrealistic or ridiculously vague. If you're considering the same resolution you made last year, and the year before that, and the year before that…maybe it's time to ask yourself if it's really something you need to change. The things that propel growth tend to happen on a random Tuesday when you finally get fed up or something happens that lights a fire under your behind, not on the first day of the year. Personal development is more effective as a steady drip over a lifetime than a firehose during the first two months of the year, but it's personal…your pace is unique to you.

Now, if you're facing urgent weight-related health problems that are keeping you from doing what you love or potentially impacting your mortality, then yeah, you need to get on with losing what it will take for you to live the life you want to be living. If you're constantly in "try, fail, repeat" mode, then maybe it's time to focus on being kind to yourself, not embark on more failure. Embracing who you are and loving yourself—flaws and all—is essential because it's almost impossible to succeed at anything on the outside if you don't like yourself on the inside.

We all need to nudge (or catapult) ourselves past fear or doubt sometimes, but maybe you're hibernating because you're actually an introvert and you need more time to recover between social events…why exhaust yourself in the name of vague buzzwords? Or say yes to things that won't get you where you want to go or help you become who you want to be? You gotta do you, but FOMO without a cause will burn you out faster than you can say, "Happy New Year!" and you don't gotta do everything everyone asks or expects you to.

If you're going into debt because you're buying things you don't need or saying yes to things you don't care about or want to be doing, refer to the previous paragraphs about liking yourself and honoring who you are. A real friend will understand if you can't make it to her bachelorette party because $1500 for a weekend away isn't in your budget...or you don't feel like it.

The biggest difference between anti-resolutions and old school resolutions is that they're about making life easier or simpler for yourself, not harder or more complicated. The focus is on discontinuing something that no longer serves you instead of adding to an already overloaded/overstressed life. Instead of saying you're going to "spend less/save more," you could set a tangible goal of only going to Starbucks on odd-numbered days or not buying another pair of shoes without getting rid of one.

Here are some fantastic anti-resolution reads:
The Front Nine: How to Start the Year Anytime You Want by Mike Vardy
How to Be a Better Person by Kate Hanley

And let's face it, what most resolutions come down to is this:
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight, which partners beautifully with the Get Your Sh*t Together Journal.

The Un-Resolution Concept

And on the (way) other side of resolutions, we have the Hunter S. Thompson approach to life…go big or go home and then get shot out of a cannon when you die. Which brings us to the un-resolution, or true antithesis of the New Year's resolution: The opposites. The indulgences. The radical "consequences-be-damned" resolutions you've always wanted to make but didn't because they felt too out of control or you were afraid people might think you were crazy. We're not advocating irresponsibility, self-harm, or completely disregarding the impact your actions may have on others, but what if you resolved to:

  • Try a new flavor of ice cream each week.
  • Get your name on the wall at your favorite brew pub.
  • Skip dinner and just eat dessert one night a week or month.
  • Swear more (as a stress-release...it's a thing!).
  • Eat a big juicy steak more often.
  • Sleep until 1:00PM every other Saturday.
  • Stay in your pajamas on the first Sunday of every month.
  • Have a second cup of coffee.
  • Buy the freaking shoes already.
    • And find a party to wear them to!
  • Spontaneously take a vacation.
  • Hire a cleaning lady even though you're perfectly capable of doing it yourself.
  • Say "no" to baby showers unless they're for your bestie or blood relatives.
  • Eat the pie.
  • Turn off your phone for a day.
  • See how many episodes of "Lucifer" you can binge-watch in 24 hours.
  • You get the idea, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest so you can share your "I would that I could (and maybe I will!)" un-resolution ideas with us. :)

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