Break your bad habits with these resolutions

Published 4:13 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

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Have you made and broken your New Year’s Resolutions yet? We’re several days into 2024 already, so there’s been plenty of chances for you to toss your resolutions to the wayside. That’s what most people do anyway.

After all, it is kind of difficult to make substantial lifestyle changes in the dreary, cold winter of January when we’re all trudging back to work after the holidays. Who has the energy to exercise more and eat healthier? (I still have Christmas cookies and other desserts to finish eating!) New, life-changing habits are so difficult to put in place and maintain long-term.

So instead of the usual New Years Resolutions (“I will read 100 books instead of watching TV” or “I will wake up at 4 a.m. to go to the gym every day” or “I will learn how to fluently speak some obscure language”), how about something a little more unconventional? What will you resolve to NOT do in 2024? There are plenty of bad habits that we can try to toss instead. Here are a few ideas to try:

“I will not mutter mean things under my breath whenever a car or truck cuts me off in traffic or passes recklessly.”

This is so frustrating when you’re just minding your business and other people are driving crazy. But maybe this year is the year we all learn to ignore the idiots on the highway. Or perhaps, we will just glare at them – silently and angrily – instead.

“I will not put a pot on the stove and then forget to actually turn the stove on.”

Who among us hasn’t gotten distracted by something and then realized twenty minutes later why the water isn’t boiling? Happens to the best of us! But we can definitely do better this year! (Or maybe we will also forget to turn on the oven or turn on the crockpot… Maybe we’ll just eat sandwiches this year because it’s easier…)

“I will not say I’m going to sleep and then spend two more hours looking at my phone instead.”

Really! We’re going to put our phones away, get cozy under the covers, and then drift off to dreamland. No need to take one last peek at social media. Okay, well, maybe just one more quick look just in case something interesting has happened. Oh no, that looks like some drama to read. Maybe we can just quickly get caught up on that whole thing before midnight…

“I will not get too invested in how well or how bad my favorite sports team is doing this year.”

We can just enjoy the games without caring about the outcome, right? It’s not about winning or losing, right? The playoffs are just nice bonus games, right? There’s always next year if we lose to our biggest rivals, right? Right??

“I will not procrastinate on something important by cleaning my house instead.”

This is such an easy one. We can continue to procrastinate on something important by not cleaning either!

“I will not slouch while sitting down.”

Nope! This is the year of sitting up straight and improving our posture. We will sit as though we’re balancing trays on the top of our heads. We will look elegant and mature no matter what kind of seat we are in. Unless of course… we have to lean forward to squint at a computer screen… or lean over to get closer to a plate of food… or relax into a puddle of goo on the couch after getting home from a long day of work.

“I will not walk into a room and forget why I went in there.”

Sorry, I’ve already forgotten why I included this resolution on the list.

“I will not worry about big things I can’t change.”

Does the environment and the economy and the general state of everything make you fret all the time? Try substituting your big worries for little worries instead! Will there be enough parking at our destination? Is this food in our fridge going to give someone food poisoning? Did we accidentally call someone by the wrong name? We can find plenty of things to worry over if we try hard enough!

On second thought, who am I kidding? I’m pretty sure all these resolutions are going to be easily broken too! Let’s just try again later. Like, in June or July perhaps?

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.