Oh no, here it comes again. We’ve barely had time to reflect on what we’ve learned in the past year, and already we’re being asked what we promise to do differently—come tomorrow. Yep, New Year’s Resolutions have been freaking me out for 40+ years, and for good reason. It’s one thing to consider what I want to accomplish, and it’s quite another to say it out loud. If I put myself out there, I’m committed. In that one swift act, I’ll have managed to set all my hopes and dreams in stone, so that what comes next really, really matters. As in if I don’t follow through, I pretty much suck at life.
And yet, now that I’m more than halfway to 100, I can’t help but look forward. That’s a minefield for many women, especially those of the Type AAA variety. Before you know it, you’re hopelessly obsessed with the future—what you’re gonna do and how fast you’re gonna do it—which launches you straight out of the present, which is like trying to walk on water. So I’ve got a real dilemma. While part of me can’t stomach controlling what’s to come, another part insists on it.
This year, I’m easing up on the pressure pedal. Rather than setting concrete goals I can fail at—like losing seven pounds or researching a book—I’m zooming out to view the bigger picture. I’ve decided to be less about what I want to achieve and more focused on what’s holding me back. They are the anti-resolutions, if you will. So, which obstacles are keeping me from being my best self—in mind, body and soul? What exactly do I need to stop doing already?
ANTI-RESOLUTIONS: My 3 Biggest Challenges and How I’ll Overcome Them
This year, I resolve to do the following:
1. STOP listening to that negative voice.
When I tackle a task, I go full on. Hand me some caffeine around dawn, and I’m in the zone where nothing can stop me. Except, that is, that tiny voice in my head whispering, Don’t waste your time. It’ll never work. Well, you know what? That voice is evil, and I’ve got its number. Yeah, yeah, I know. The inner voice is a remnant from childhood and it’s normal to second guess yourself in life. But I’ve decided this: Self-sabotage, particularly before you even get started on something new, is stupid. So this year, I’m calling out that voice so I can silence it once and for all. Sure, there’s always the possibility of failure. But so what? BONUS: No matter how productive you are, there’s always room for more.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: I’m the only thing standing in my way.
MY PROMISE: THIS YEAR, I WILL TELL MYSELF THAT WHILE FAILING IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE, IT IS NO REASON TO DELAY THE DREAM.
2. STOP letting age be a problem.
I was warned, yes. But when it hits, POW. In case you’re not there yet, perimenopause is a force to be reckoned with. A few random wrinkles and a headful of silver roots were a joke compared this stage in life. Seriously, this condition is all kinds of wrong. It can turn even the sanest woman into a ragged, jagged version of herself. Well, no more demonic possession in this body, thanks. No matter how messed up I feel, I’m not letting hair or dryness appearing in the wrong places (yes, that), or mood swings or flashes at the wrong times (back the hell up, people!), or any of the rest of the war raging inside me, mess up my good time. We are women, hear us roar— quietly, in stride, in an air conditioned house in winter. BONUS: Everyone else around me will breathe a little cooler, too.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: The physical stuff really is superficial.
MY PROMISE: THIS YEAR, I WILL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO KEEP MY COOL EVEN IN THE FACE OF RAGING HORMONES.
3. STOP playing in the sandbox with buzzkills.
The older I get, the clearer it becomes: Some friends just don’t belong in my friendship circle. So I’m taking a cue from Sesame Street. If One of These Things is Not Like the Others—and whenever she’s around, I’m holding myself back from dropkicking anything within reach because hey, I’m too mature for that—it’s time for the old heave-ho. No more excuses, the least of which should be that I’ve been dumb enough to give her a free pass for a couple decades. It doesn’t have to be all dramatic, either. I can just let go and love from afar. If the relationship is all about her, or just gets more passive-aggressive, competitive, or generally high maintenance as time goes on, she’s O-U-T out. The litmus test? Being around her makes me feel lower. BONUS: Her spot will be open for those people I can never seem to find enough time for.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: It’s perfectly OK to love someone from a distance.
MY PROMISE: THIS YEAR, I WILL GO DEEPER IN MY TIGHTER CIRCLE OF LOVE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.
SHARE: Got any anti-resolutions of your own? What do you want to stop doing this year?