It’s that crazy time of year again where gym memberships spike, budgets tighten, and folks are binge-watching diet documentaries and clearing out every carb and enriched wheat flour product out of their pantries to start a radical, new life-style change.
This enthusiasm is not only admirable—it’s shared. I love the idea of starting fresh, wiping the slate clean, and resolving to get your act together…. again.
And that’s the problem. It seems every year we have a revolving door of the same resolutions: eat healthy, work out more, be financially responsible, etc.
So this year, I resolved to do something different. Since it appears I’m not very adept at starting new things and maintaining them, I figured I would try a different approach. Don’t start something—stop it.
Here are my top five resolutions to stop:
1) Stop Complaining
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, and nothing good comes from complaining. In fact, all it does it make you feel more miserable about the situation. Negativity crushes the spirit and is never satisfied. It always demands more. So let’s cut off the metaphorical beast’s head and stop feeding him our complaints. Less energy consumed by complaining will free up more room for positivity and finding productive solutions.
2) Stop Procrastinating
For me this is less about procrastinating in the sense of being lazy and more about prioritizing what really matters. I’m constantly parking my passions and dreams to take care of the daily to-dos. Yes, we have to make life happen. We have to work, care for our families, clean our homes, and wash our clothes. But life doesn’t guarantee us tomorrow and I don’t want to be remembered as the “lady who had a super clean house.” Take some time out of the ordinary to pursue something extraordinary.
3) Stop And Smell The Roses (or Tomatoes)
My mom excelled at this. On Thanksgiving eve, she and I went to the grocery store armed with our list of supplies. I was hell-bent on being efficient, beating the crowds and getting in and out within 30 minutes. But my mom was there for the experience, literally smelling every tomato in the produce bin until she settled on the perfect one. For her, Thanksgiving wasn’t about getting to the grand finale dinner in record time…it was about enjoying all the moments leading up to it. Don’t allow your goals to keep you from being present on the journey. Enjoy every moment!
4) Stop Punishing Yourself
Mistakes and failure can often take us in one of two directions: we can be grateful and learn from them, or we can become guilt-ridden and overcome by them. Regret can be a powerful captor, locking us into a continuous loop of “what ifs” and self-deprecation. Be kind. Extend grace and forgiveness toward yourself and others. Then dust off the dirt and direct your energy toward improving yourself—not punishing.
5) Stop Playing the Lottery
On the rare occasion I’m carrying a few bucks in my wallet and happen to be at our neighborhood gas station, I’ve been known to buy a few mega million tickets. But this is not a call to end all scratchers and the pursuit of an elusive over-sized check. Rather, it’s an encouragement to stop striving for things out of your reach and start investing more time, money, and energy investing in the things you can control. Nurture the talents you have, be a good steward of the opportunities right in front of you, and understand that it’s not always the fastest who get the prize, but the faithful.