To dos and to don’ts

Even though the topic of New Year’s resolutions is slowly getting old, I’ll stick with it a while longer in my first post this year.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t particularly like to set resolutions partly because I am quite satisfied with the way I live my life and partly because even if I did set some, there’s a high possibility of me failing to fulfill them. I was thinking why is it that so many people say they can’t stick to their resolutions? When I thought about it, I don’t find it too hard to fulfill the tasks I put down on my To Do list for example, and resolutions are in fact to do lists, aren’t they?

They are, however, To Dos only in theory: because most people either don’t really mean them, or just forget about them the first week of January. A real to do list is something different. When we actually make one, we put down only things we really NEED to do. Failing to do them might mess something up. Of course those things are usually practical things not to forget – like pay the phone bill, pay rent, buy turkey for the thanksgiving dinner, and so on. New Year’s resolutions on the contrary are usually concerned with stuff like life-style, change of one’s looks, or money. This is tricky though. Why? Because resolutions concern things you really enjoy doing but your rational thinking tells you it’s bad for you. Take smoking, drinking, or eating junk food for example. You know each of these things is bad for you. But oh you simply love having a fag with your coffee. And oh if the junk food wasn’t so tasty it wouldn’t be called junk food 🙂

So I decided to approach resolutions differently. I tried to combine the practical feature of a To Do list and a long-term-benefit feature of a resolution and created my own To Don’t list. Here it is:


Instead of setting goals to do things, my goal is to stop doing things I hate about myself. I tend to complain about trifles and discomforts but I’ve got no right to complain and those who do – don’t utter a word. I hate when people judge me, I hate the injustice in it when you can’t defend yourself, but even I do it from time to time – and I simply have no right to. The other four are more practical things I want to change about myself – these things are fairly self-explanatory and simple but are seriously bothering me.

My theory is to set only goals you really want to change and, at the same time, are able to change. Pick only things you can change right away, things that don’t need any special preparation or effort. Pick things you really hate about yourself, not the ones you love doing – because that way you’re more likely to fail. I have chosen these six things very carefully and giving them up will make my life a lot easier and that’s the point of setting resolutions, isn’t it?

My theory includes one practical detail, that might be one of the reasons why we fail with resolutions: it’s not written down, it’s not in front of our eyes every day. No sign reading: don’t you dare having that fag, that cuppa, that burger. So I framed it and put it on my table next to my laptop in hope everytime I look at it and happen to be chewing at my fingernail it will make me stop at once.

I’m wishing you all good luck with the goals you set for yourself in 2015!


5 thoughts on “To dos and to don’ts

  1. This is really quite creative. I’m rather taken with your approach, and might think about it for myself.

    And I agree with you about writing things down, or having them visible in some way. When I first started writing, I framed a copy of a little poster an English friend always kept in her classroom when she was teaching. I’ve moved on from it for now, but here’s a pic.


    • Thank you ever so much for your comment. It’s nice knowing my little creation inspired someone!
      Yeah I think people tend to forget about things easily even if they stood by them initially, so it’s nice to have such a reminder. 🙂


  2. Pingback: 180 degrees | katka on the shore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s