Your Anti-Resolution Guide

We all make promises on January 1st, only to break them before the week is out.

woman with bracelets removing wine from bucket
(Image credit: Scott and Zoe)

We all make promises on January 1st, only to break them before the week is out. This time, resolve to hold off on major changes until you're really ready to commit (maybe in March, say, or October, or 2010.)

What's that? You say you have to do something right now? Oh, all right then…find your "old" resolution below, and our "anti-resolution" response and decide which one seems like a better fit for you. Either way, you're off to a solid start!

Old Resolution: Join a Gym. Losing weight is arguably the most popular resolution there is. We all want to look and feel our best, especially after we've eaten and drunk our way through the six weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year. But let's face it—you're going to blow a ton of cash on a gym membership you'll never use.

Anti-Resolution: Workout Wherever You Are. You'll work out for two days, get sore (or get bored) and quit. Baby-step your way to fitness instead. Start taking a walk after dinner a night or two per week. Do some crunches during commercials. Want to try yoga? Get a DVD or take a single class. As you see ways to fit exercise into your schedule, you'll develop a routine that will lead you to more regular workouts that you can commit to, at the gym or at home.

Old Resolution: Pay Off Debt. Now, more than ever, we're consumed by debt. It is important to get yourself on track financially, but you have to recognize that it's going to take a lot more than a resolution to stick to a budget and pay down your debt—and that it may take a lot more than a year to do it.

Anti-Resolution: Use Less Credit. Remember when credit cards were for "emergencies?" That pair of suede ankle boots is so not an emergency. Stick to cash or your debit card. Try it one time: When you're in line at the register or paying a bill, ask yourself if you can do it with what's in your checking account. If the answer is no, leave it behind. You'll feel better in the long run knowing that your debt burden is decreasing.

Old Resolution: Save Money. Yes, we should all have more in the bank, or in our 401(k). But you're not going to see the results of a savings plan overnight, which is likely to make you feel like there's no progress being made.

Anti-Resolution: Give Your Money Away. Try remembering that there is always someone out there who needs your money more than you do. Perhaps it's tipping your barista this week. Next week you could give a little to your favorite charity. Next month, you might find yourself sponsoring a child. If you can find the funds to do that, you'll realize money isn't buying your happiness—and you'll be more than happy to find a way to set some aside for your own rainy day.

Old Resolution: Eat Healthier

Admit it…that bag of carrots and carton of yogurt for lunch is pissing you off. It's OK to crave more substance! You don't have to go raw food or even vegetarian to eat more healthfully.

Anti-Resolution: Try Different Foods

There's an amazing variety of healthy foods to choose from, all with great flavor that won't leave you longing for more. Web sites like and have incredible recipes that recommend using fresh organic and local ingredients. If you're better with a cell phone than a saucepan, you can make better choices when ordering food. Instead of a burger, try fresh steamed veggies and salmon or even a thin-crust slice of pizza with veggies. Get out of your comfort zone and you'll discover eating well is actually not so bad.

From quitting smoking to spending more time with loved ones, find more anti resolutions here: The First 30 Days Anti-Resolution Guide