Forget New Year's Resolutions, Try This Instead.

To me, New Year's resolutions and my ex have a lot in common.


I can't recall the last time I made a New Year's resolution. It's not that I loathe them. It's just that they kind of remind me of one of my exes who used to constantly make promises, then reassurances, only to break them.

He wasn't a jerk. He was actually a nice guy who, for the most part, had his heart in the right place (at least relatively-speaking). In hindsight, I think our disconnect was the fact that since my top love language is words of affirmation, he thought that so long as he said he was going to do something, following through wasn't that big of a deal. To me, New Year's resolutions and my ex have a lot in common.


Every year, millions of us think that so long as we put on record what we intend to do, we don't really need to put our words into action. There's data to support my lil' theory too. I recently checked out an article that said as much as 80 percent of people annually break their New Year's resolution — or resolutions — by February. There are a million-and-one theories — ones that are probably more like excuses — behind why.

Some say they break their resolutions because they don't have the time to keep them.

Others say they break their resolutions because they were unrealistic to begin with.

Then there are those who struggle because they don't see immediate results.

I have another theory. I think the reason why a lot of individuals fail at keeping their resolutions is because they should've never made them to begin with; their entire perspective on reaching a certain goal stresses them out before they even start, and that is what dooms them to fail from Day One.


Does that mean I think that we shouldn't have aspirations for the New Year? No. I just believe we'd get a lot more accomplished if we focused on creating a New Year's bucket list instead. Think about it.

Say that you want to lose weight by summer. A resolution would come in the form of "lose 25 pounds". A bucket list entry could be something like go hiking in Colorado or taking yoga at a fabulous spa.

Maybe you want to stop spending so much money on frivolous stuff. A resolution would be to not eat out more than once a month. A bucket list entry would be to plan an international trip for the fall.

What if your resolution is to finally get over your ex? A resolution would be to block him from social media. A bucket list entry would be to try speed dating or to hire a professional matchmaker.


See the difference?

Whenever we focus on making resolutions, already it can put some (sometimes totally unnecessary) pressure onto ourselves because all we're really thinking about is what we're going to stop doing and/or how much work is going to be involved in changing our life or breaking a habit.

But when we're more in the mindset of creating a bucket list, it gives us new and exciting things to look forward to — and if they are centered around things that we want to let go of or do differently, that's a mere bonus.

So, sometime this coming weekend, do yourself a big favor. Turn off the tube. Put on some of your favorite music and pull out a piece of paper and a pen. Write down 5-7 things that would normally be a New Year's resolution. Then, instead of framing it as a resolution — something that you need to "resolve" — think of how you can turn it into a bucket list entry instead.

Do you wanna cook more? Put "taking a cooking class" on your bucket list. Wanna conquer fear? Put "go ziplining at Hunter Mountain" on your bucket list. Tryin' to reconnect with your spouse? Put "plan the ultimate romantic date" on your bucket list.

It will give you things to look forward to. FUN THINGS that won't stress you but will excite you instead! I guarantee it.

Featured image by Getty Images

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Originally published on December 30, 2018

There's that old wives' tale that sex before a sports match is a major no-no for athletes, but when it comes to us everyday folk, consistent lovemaking does the mind and body good. In fact, sex and productivity can actually go hand in hand. A recent multiple-university study found that professionals who had sex the night before going into work had "more positive moods" that increased work engagement and job satisfaction.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

While Issa Rae's HBO show Insecure is coming to an end, the star just celebrated a new beginning. The writer/actress got married to her longtime boyfriend Louis Diame in July in the south of France. The couple released the wedding photos on social media on July 26. And while many people expressed excitement for the 36-year-old, others were left confused thanks to Issa's sense of humor.

Keep reading... Show less

At the start of each season, I browse the net to get an idea of the latest styles and trends to look out for when adding to my closet. When shopping, not only do I love items that are hot for the moment but mainly those that I can keep in rotation year after year. I especially look for styles that are both modern and classic, giving off an effortlessly timeless vibe.

Keep reading... Show less

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has had to deal with numerous devastating losses over the course of two years due to COVID-19. On April 13, 2020, his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns passed away from the novel virus. He had several close family members pass from COVID-19 as well. And, in the beginning of 2021, Karl also contracted the virus and ended up in the hospital.

Keep reading... Show less

Is it just me or does it seem like, these days, folks are used to just throwing words and phrases out without really understanding what they mean? Take being a free spirit, for example. While some people may be spontaneous (at times), like to take risks or even be a lot of fun to be around, that doesn't automatically or necessarily make them a free spirit. In short, a free-spirited person is someone who's considered to be a nonconformist. And, even with that said, it goes a little bit deeper.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success

"You can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do."

Latest Posts