6629841821_31599ce34d_zImage by Lisa Rupp

‘Tis the season of Resolutions. And if you read Dr. Allen’s hilarious post, “Twerking, Flirting, Pole Dancing: Dr. Pat Reflects on the Vows She Made Last Year,” you know that Resolutions can often push us to be our better selves.

We’re trying something a bit different this year, however: The Anti-Resolution—The Things We Resolve NOT to Do in the new year.  Our readers and contributors shared the habits, practices, and behaviors they’ve been doing (miserably) in the past and that they’ve decided not to do in 2o15. Here are our favorites for our negative positivity list of resolutions!


Resolve: NOT to lose my temper, overtly.

I have been practicing this in the waning days of 2014, writing angry letters and filing them until I understand whether it’s that important. I expect that at the end of the year I will be able to browse the files and see how many narrow escapes I have provided myself. And laugh. So far, it seems to be working. — Barbara Fertig


Resolve: Not to be so afraid of being alone.

And not to stew over what that really means as we age. —Anonymous


Resolve: Not to join a gym this year.

This is one of my two consistent resolutions. I’m going to lift shovels of manure and bulk up garden beds, stretch high overhead to prune my fruit trees, wheel barrowloads of blackberry branches over to the burn pile, and bend over in a yoga-like manner as I plant pumpkins, broccoli, tomatoes, summer squash, and nasturtiums. Raking, sweeping, and weed-whacking will keep my back in shape, and once summer comes, swimming every day to cool off will help me keep my sanity.

The other consistent thing I resolve not to do is pour myself a drink. — Molly Fisk


Resolve: NOT to sweat the small stuff.

It’s a cliché, of course, but it becomes particularly tricky when you’re the mother of a teenager. What’s big to me is small to her,  and what’s small to me is big to her. And, everything, big or small, gets blown completely out of proportion. So I’m going to try to relax about things that don’t matter (whether or not she makes her bed, for example, or brings dirty dishes back down to the kitchen). I’m going to try to focus on the important things: her kindness, her character, helping her succeed as a whole and increasingly grown-up person. — Alexandra MacAaron


Resolve: Not to be affected by people who feel more comfortable if they can label what I do for a living.

As an American living in Copenhagen, I spend my time looking for challenges, freelance “projects” (paid and unpaid) in which I can use my skills as an artist, writer, and lawyer. I am constantly evaluating whether I am using my time in a meaningful way, and often have difficulty explaining to the people around me what my job is. I am met with many stereotypes and misunderstandings, and this occasionally leads me to wonder if I would be happier with a clearly defined job. I have limitless energy, a puritanical work ethic, and the great privilege of economic freedom. In 2015, I will not apologize for taking advantage of my freedom to live my life as an artist. — Suzanne Russell


Resolve: Not to procrastinate.

Having made this hopeful promise to myself, you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times an article entitled “If You Want to Meet That Deadline, Play a Trick on Your Mind,” by Phyllis Korkki.

Without belaboring the point, the piece was basically a how-to guide to stop procrastinating, a primer on tricks to rejigger our perception of time. How prophetic is that?

Oh, yes, speaking of deadlines and duping the mind, when we were asked to write about what we’re NOT resolving this year, we were told our comments were due “by Monday.” As I press the send button it’s midnight Sunday. I’m still on a learning curve. — Tish Jett


Resolve:  No dying in 2015.  Goes for all my beloveds.

But how, as age advances, not to let avidity for life turn us into non-stop medical consumers? So, I’ve vowed to keep pills and unguents out of sight, to skip unnecessary doc visits, to refrain from organ recitals at dinner . . . enjoy more, fear less.

In service of longevity (and deliciousness, too) our New Year’s Eve dinner for two included a new tradition, related by a Japanese friend who happens to be a doctor: we slurped fresh soba starting at 11:58 p.m. and kept going until after the ball dropped (but not into our soup), bridging 2014 and 2015. The only tricky part was popping the champagne at midnight while wielding chopsticks.

Fascinates me that for the Jewish New Year, the challah is round, while the Chinese and Japanese consume long, thin noodles to invoke continuity. Different geometry, same splendid idea. Viva!  — Nancy Weber

Resolve: Not to order one more piece of clothing from a mail-order catalog.

No more dog-eared pages and outfits that don’t fit! Instead, I’ll splurge on a day of shopping and lunch at a local mall with a friend. The first catalogue that arrives in the mailbox will be a true test! — Diane Dettmann


Resolve: Not to make resolutions for things I don’t want to do.

Here’s what I know about New Year’s resolutions:  If I have to resolve to do something and it needs a start date, then it means I don’t really want to do it.  So I probably won’t. At least not for long. So, no more resolutions to lose weight, to go the gym, keep my room neat, blah blah . . . Therefore, I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in many years.

But this year is kind of different. I resolved to do something that I’ll enjoy.  I and several of my friends are keeping “Happiness Jars.”  Every day we will write on a piece of paper something that made us happy that day, and toss it into a jar.  A year from now we’ll review.  I know I’ll enjoy that. — Eleanore Wells


Resolve: Not to fall. 

I will make NO poison pies (there’s a story here).

I will NOT fall  (this is sad as I did a dramatic one downhill on a sidewalk recently. . . I will have NO more falls in 2015. — Toni Myers



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  • Roz Warren January 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    But procrastinating is my favorite hobby! I’m not giving it up, even for my beloved Womens Voices.

  • Mickey January 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Love the anger blurb. Yes, I struggle every day with anger and resolve NOT to yell at the old (16 this year) dog for leaving me yet another ‘gift’ to dry out and pick up and then have to scrub the floor. And other issues, too numerous to go into. I like the idea of letters that are not mailed but filed and read at the end of the year. Thank you, all the commentators.