Setting New Year’s Anti-Resolutions

Happy 2022 everybody!

At this time of year, all the talk in the media and on social media focuses on finally getting yourself together and starting all kinds of New Year resolutions and commitments to transform you into the perfect human being.

Now is the time to commit to dozens of new goals, get fit and reach your full potential!

This can be a really helpful period of downtime. Take a step back and look at your progress and areas of your life that you want to improve. But, if you’re genuine about making positive tweaks to your life, it’s worth being a little more thoughtful than simply listing our unrealistic wishes.

When setting these goals, one mistake most of us make – and one which dooms most of our resolutions to failure – is simply trying to bolt the new ideas and habits onto our lives without reviewing what we have done before, or what we’re already doing.

I don’t know about you, but last year wasn’t filled with days of sitting around with nothing to do. We’re all busier than ever, and fitting in more activities and healthy habits is no easy task.

Say you want to exercise more, or learn a brand new skill that will help your freelance business grow. To make this ambition seriously, you will most likely need to take some other action or decisions to free up the space for your new ambition. 

All new habits take up some time and energy. So that’s why it’s worth having a bit of a mental clear out, before committing to becoming a star baker or learning how to take great photographs.

Image of a white paper on a wooden background with a pencil placed on top of the paper. On the paper it's written word resolutions. The image is slightly faded, and over the image there is a blue text box with the text - setting new year anti resolutions.

Editing your commitments

The truth is we don’t often review what we actually want to do with our time and our futures.

Confronting the fact that we physically can’t do everything we might to do is an important step to take.

Don’t get me wrong, this is far from easy.

But it is liberating. It frees you up from the guilt of the list of unfulfilled aims, ambitions and goals from previous Januaries dating back many years.

It’s okay to decide you’re never going to write that book, learn the piano, or run a marathon – as long as you’ve thought about it and decided it’s no longer a priority or something that you truly want to commit to.

In fact, doing this will free up your energy to make the goals and resolutions that you do care about much more likely to come to fruition.

It’s also a great thing to accept that you can be interested in ideas and topics without having to be good or do anything with them. As Mark Forster writes in the book “Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management”:

“It is immensely important to distinguish between having an interest in something and having a commitment to something.”

Mark Forster

Creating a list of New Year Anti-Resolutions

creating a list of anti new year resolutions

So this year, as well as writing out and formulating your goals, think about creating an Anti-Resolutions list.

This is a list of goals, habits and aims that you want to do less of, or have decided are not important to you at the moment.

Of course, this can be filled with healthy steps like stopping smoking, cutting down on drinking or staying up late.

But it’s also helpful to think through those once-held ambitions and goals, which no longer resonate with you.

It can be a painful process, but you’ll feel so much lighter after doing it.

One handy tip is to create a Someday/Maybe list. This is less final. You don’t need to dispose of those ambitions altogether. You’re just putting them to one side, and committing to focussing on other things for now.

Maybe they will resonate with you again one day.

January is great natural punctuation in the busy work year. So do take some time to think about where you’re heading and what you’d like from your future. Even if it’s just an hour or so, it can really help you to focus and adjust your direction of travel.

So good luck with that and all the best for 2022! We have lots of exciting plans for this year, as our community of creative freelancers and side hustlers continues to grow.

Here’s to a great year of freelancing ahead!

If you like this article, you might like these as well:

Is the Voice in Your Head Holding You Back?
How to Stop Procrastinating Once and For All

Would you like to be part of my upcoming book?

I’m very excited to announce that I’m writing a book on productivity! If gaining early access to the contents for free, and helping to bring it together sounds interesting to you, please drop me an email

Until next time,

Alistair signature