Top Ten Things Not To Do as New Year’s Resolutions

Here is the 27th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.



10.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not put “Exercise Daily” or the word “exercise” anywhere on your list.  At best, you will wind up paying for a gym membership you will never use because you always have an excuse not to go.  At worst, while trying to cover up your lack of participation to your personal trainer, you will drop a 25-pound weight on your foot, resulting in an injury that uses up most of your sick leave and the remaining days of your gym membership.

9.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not include on your list: “Start the [fill in the blank] diet to lose the ten pounds I gained over the holidays.”  At best, you’ll only lose a lot of water (notice the flushing) which, for a few days, may make you look and feel like you lost ten pounds.  At worst, the minute you go off the diet, the weight will all come back, two-fold.

8.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not include in your list:  “Quit smoking cold turkey.”  At best, this item doesn’t apply to you because you don’t smoke.  At worst, you do smoke and going cold turkey might get you through five minutes without a puff.  Then you will tear through your house, upending the trash as you try to salvage at least one smoke-able filter.  Of course, even five minutes you don’t smoke is another five minutes your body gets a break.

7.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not put “Get organized” anywhere on your list.  At best, it’s too vague (it could be mean get organized at work, get your kitchen organized, organize your bookshelf) and you’ll forget it anyway.  At worst, you’ll think that you have committed yourself to organizing everything in your life, including your friends’ and families’ schedules, and they will commit you for a having a near-lethal case of OCD.

6.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not put “Read all the books on my To Be Read list.”  In the best case, you only have two books on your TBR list and so you now have the whole year to read them.  In the worst case, you (like so many of us) have a Leaning Tower of TRB in every room in your house.  The only way you’ll get through them all is if you quit your job, quit sleeping and quit taking bathroom breaks (unless your bathroom also serves as a reading room).

5.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not commit yourself to reading every blog you follow every day.  Much like item #5, that will only work if, at best, you only follow a couple of blogs.  At worst, if you follow more blogs than there are seconds in a day, you may have a worse dilemma than that in #5.  Unless you don’t mind taking your iPad or laptop to the toilets with you, bathroom breaks will cost you precious reading time.

4.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not put “Get last year’s NaNoWriMo novel (still in first draft) published in six months” anywhere on your list.  At best (and least likely), you’ve already read through your first draft and am pleasantly surprised that it actually makes sense and will need little editing.  At worst (and most likely), you’ll find your first draft is just a hodgepodge of random stories and blog posts and any attempt to put it in readable form by the end of the year (much less published) will likely drive you insane.

3.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not add “Save money by not buying books” to your list.  Who are you kidding?  At best, that resolution will last only until you receive your next Barnes & Noble 20% discount coupon.  At worst, you’ll fill up your e-readers with free e-books until you realize that reading those books in print is much more fun.  Before you know it, you will have spent your imagined savings and it’s only week 2 of the New Year.

2.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not add “Learn to do at least one risky activity a month, like sky-diving or bungee-jumping.”  At best, you’ll learn about the activity but never get around to doing any of them once you understand the risks and decide life is too short to risk shortening it more.  At worst (and if you don’t think life is already too short), you’ll try to make like Nik Wallenda over the Grand Canyon, but without the success.

1.  For your New Year’s Resolutions, do not set your resolutions so high that they remain forever out of reach, nor so low that it’s not even worth stooping to find them.  Instead, for your New Year’s Resolutions, start each one with “Be grateful for …”  Be grateful for your health, for all the great books and bloggers you have to read, for knowing when to live dangerously and when to live vicariously.  Be grateful you are here for a New Year.


Happy New Year!


  1. Aw, number 1 is nice! 🙂 I only have two resolutions – 1. don’t drink any corpsewater, and 2. get out of the country that needs the word ‘corpsewater’ in its vocabulary 😉


    • Thank you, Linda. I think you have two fine resolutions to work toward. I think, though, you might have to get out of the country first because you can be assured of never drinking corpsewater 🙂


      • You might be right there! Hoping to go on my first recce (or maybe just mini-break) in February 😉


  2. Oh, #3 was meant for me! I agree 100% with #1, Marie. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve given up on resolutions, I make commitments instead. It seems to work better for me. Happy New Year!


    • Happy New Year, Jill! I no longer make resolutions, too. I got tired of seeing myself “fail” 🙂


  3. I fear my TBR list. Great list as usual.


  4. I’m still working on mu TBR pile from 1987


  5. Good morning Marie. This list hit me on the “be grateful for…..” I think that is the way to go. BTW I am is TBR hell.:-)


    • Thanks, John. Number 1 is my favorite, and I think there’s many, many of us with towering TBRs 🙂


  6. Great advice and #1 is the biggest one on my list for this year. Hopefully it will help me complete the few other ones I have for 2014…I hope.


  7. Frankly, Marie Ann, re: # 8 … I think I would rather make the cold turkey into a curry … it really does not sound like the sort of thing one should be smoking to me.


    • Oh, thank you for picking up on that! It’s such a common phrase, but on rereading the post, I realized how that sounded: so, how many people actually smoke cold turkey? I agree, curry sounds much better 🙂


  8. I like #1 best. Being grateful is something I remind myself to do over breakfast every morning…and many times throughout the day. I whine a lot in-between, but still with a grateful heart.

    One day I will quite smoking, but not making any promises…I have quit a dozen times before for as long as two years.


    • Susan, any time you quit, for any length of time, is good for you. I didn’t start smoking until I was 21 and I was never a heavy smoker … still, it was really, really hard to quit. Actually, I don’t even say that I quit, only that I don’t smoke right now 😉


  9. I especially like Number 3.


  10. As always, these No No posts have me in stitches. Leaning tower of TBR’s…yes! And now that I think of it, I probably do follow more blogs than there are seconds in the day. A wonderful list of resolutions to avoid, Marie and John. Number One is beautifully put and is something that I shall be trying to put into practice this year. I am grateful for this post 🙂



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