What Is on Your Not-to-Do List This Year?
Real Simple readers change their tactics.
I won’t overcommit. I have weeded out all the things I have felt obliged to do in the past and have decided to participate only in the volunteering, social, and family activities that I truly want to do. Sarah Bartlett
Narragansett, Rhode Island
I’m not going to go on another diet, climb Mount Everest, learn Mandarin, make my bed every day, learn how to iron properly, or line my kitchen drawers. I will, however, overlook my husband’s inability to fold towels, take my dogs to the beach more often, and be less judgmental.
San Francisco, California
No more e-cards for birthdays and special occasions. I’m going back to the old-fashioned paper variety that requires a pen, an envelope, and a stamp.
I won’t wish for the weekend on Mondays or worry about small stuff or allow things to get in the way of spending time with family. I want to enjoy every day as the gift it is.
I won’t let myself be consumed by things I cannot control. I’ve realized that 99 percent of my stress has come from impending “disasters” that never happened.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
I will not squish, poke, curse at, or give dirty looks to the last few pounds of baby weight that I haven’t lost. Instead I’ll save that energy for creating a happy life and chasing around my beautiful redheaded toddler.
Albany, New York
Worry. As my mom has told me, worry is like rocking in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
I am not going to freak out about the economy. I will use this recession as an opportunity to become more frugal and more resourceful. Life may be tough for a bit, but I think we could all use a chance to get back to the basics. We can do it.
Somersworth, New Hampshire
I don’t plan to increase my carbon footprint. I will continue to look for ways to cut back on the amount of energy and other natural resources that I consume.
Hillsborough, North Carolina
I’m going to stop being a “people pleaser.” My goal is still to be good to people, but only to the extent that it is healthy and comfortable for me, and to realize that I can never make everyone happy. They are responsible for their own happiness, just as I am responsible for mine.
Barnwell, South Carolina
I won’t do office work at home on Sundays. Instead Sunday will become a day for rest. I’ll do only things I enjoy, like visiting friends and family. That, in turn, will help me be more relaxed and ready to tackle the workweek ahead.
I will stop saving things for “special occasions.” I will not set aside the good china, best linens, and expensive wine for some unknown event in the future. Enjoying them regularly―by myself or with friends and family―can make a routine day more joyful.
I shall not succumb to peer pressure to dye my hair. I am not “going gray.” I’m just “gaining natural highlights”!
I won’t worry about where I’ll be in 5 or 10 years―or really ever for that matter. Instead I’ll think about what I want to do and less about where I want to be. After all, I imagine that if I’m doing what I want to do, then I will be where I need to be.
I’m not going to spend so much on small purchases. Instead I’m going to concentrate on getting out of debt.
I won’t waste my time with negative people. New year, new mind-set!
Old Bridge, New Jersey
Obsess about my aging looks. I still have two eyes that work, more or less. I have two ears, one reasonable nose, one set of lips. My complexion is pretty good, and I still have my hair. I will not pinch my belly and wish for a tummy tuck, or lift my cheeks and wish for a face-lift. I will continue to take care of my body, and I will love myself just the way I am.
I refuse to let the dysfunctional people in my life cause my life to be dysfunctional. I will help as I can, but I will no longer allow their issues to control how I live.
Moundsville, West Virginia<
I will not forget that the little people under my feet don’t care if the dishes are done.
Corpus Christi, Texas
I’ll stop shouldering the blame for issues that aren’t mine to bear.
On my not-to-do list? Stop making to-do lists that will never get done.