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Anti-Resolutions Help You Make Lasting Change

Blocks on table that say 2023

It’s that time of year again where we plan big changes and make resolutions for the new year. And while it’s exciting to think about “new year, new you,” it can also be tough to stick to the resolutions we’ve made.

So what can you do to make this year the year you stick the goals you set for yourself? Try making anti-resolutions.

Anti-goals and anti-resolutions are a new way of tackling changes you want to make in your life or business. Instead of setting impossible goals and resolutions that we randomly hope to stick with, we focus on the things we want to avoid or stop doing entirely. This can be especially helpful for those of us who struggle with traditional goal-setting, or for those who find themselves constantly setting and failing to reach the same goals year after year.

Anti-goals Easier to Stick With

One of the main benefits of setting anti-goals is that they can be easier to stick to than traditional goals. This is because they are often more realisti  and actionable, and they give you a clear sense of what you should stop doing.

For example, instead of setting a goal to “exercise more,” you might set an anti-goal to “stop skipping workouts.” This mental shift can help you to stay motivated and on track, because you’re not just working towards an abstract goal, but actively avoiding a specific behavior that you know is not helpful. (A win!)

Another advantage of anti-goals is that they can be more flexible than traditional goals. If you set a goal to “lose 10 pounds” and then get caught up in an unforeseen obstacle, it can be difficult to stay motivated and on track. With an anti-goal, though, you can more easily find new ways to avoid the behaviors or habits that are holding you back.

Anti-resolutions for Perfectionists

Anti-resolutions can also be helpful for perfectionists. With traditional resolutions we set high standards for ourselves and strive for perfection, which can be demoralizing if we fall off the resolution wagon. Anti-resolutions shift the focus to small, specific changes we can make in our lives, and let us celebrate each little victory along the way.

To set effective anti-goals and anti-resolutions, it’s important to be clear and focus on behaviors or habits that you want to avoid or stop. So instead of setting a vague goal like “be more organized,” you might set an anti-goal to “stop procrastinating on tasks.” Instead of the goal, “to walk more,” try the anti-goal of “I don’t want to be stuck in front of my computer all day.” This practical approach can help you to stay focused and motivated while making real progress towards the positive changes you want to see in your life.

A Powerful Personal Development Tool

Anti-goals and anti-resolutions can be powerful tools in personal development and self-improvement, especially for those who struggle with standard resolutions. By focusing on the behaviors and habits you want to avoid or stop, it makes the picture of what you actually do want clearer and positive changes easier to stick with.

Helen M. Ryan is the host of the walking podcast, Walking & Talking with Helen. It’s a coached walk and self-improvement podcast dedicated to getting you moving while increasing your energy, focus, and motivation.



Written by Helen M Ryan

Helen M. Ryan is a freelance writer, author and fitness pro. Visit her at or follow her on Instagram at @aspinchick.

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