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My Yes/No Resolutions for 2020

January 7, 2020
My Yes/No Resolutions for 2020

Welcome to 2020! I’m super excited that you survived the dumpster fire that was 2019. A new year, and in the case of 2020, a new decade, can feel like a chance at a new start. It can be a chance to dust yourself off and make a go of enjoying the new year.

A new year can also be a time when we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves in the name of self-improvement. If you want to listen to a (frankly hilarious) take on fitness resolutions, listen to this week’s episode of re: terrible yoga.

The very first post I ever wrote for Tiny Ambitions three years ago was my Unresolution Resolution. I have an aversion to setting goals based on the time of the year. It’s too much pressure. In fact, when I did my shopping ban last year, I purposively chose to start it in the middle of January so it couldn’t be called a resolution. I honestly believe that I was more successful in my shopping ban because I started it in the middle of January, than I would have been if it had started on January 1.

After a pretty confusing year, I need some direction for 2020. I’ve felt a little aimless this past year and that’s something I’d like to correct. But I know traditional goals and resolutions don’t work for me. When I put normal goals or resolutions into place in my life, I go out of my way to break them. At the very least, I will create so much internal resistance to them that it is a struggle to make any head way against them.

I want this year to be different. I want to work towards specific things in my life, but without numeric outcomes. I don’t want to focus only on one area of my life, I want to take a more holistic approach. After some wordsmithing and brainstorming, I’ve decided to call my approach for 2020 my Yes/No Resolution. This approach, rather than a more hard and fast resolution like ‘I will lose 20 pounds’, will hopefully be kinder to me and therefore more achievable.

My Yes/No Resolutions for 2020

The premise of my yes/no resolution is simple. I want to say yes to certain things in 2020 and I want to say no to other things. This is a more fluid approach that I’m hoping will give me the space to work towards what I want to achieve in a more intentional and sustainable way. Of course, it could all blow up in my face, and be a spectacular failure. And honestly, that would be ok too. (It would match my current track record with resolutions, so at least I’d have consistency on my side).

What I Will Say Yes to in 2020

  • Yes to food-related DIYs. This is totally random, but I really want to make my own kimchi this year. I’ve mastered pickles and beets, it’s kimchi’s time to shine. It’s going to happen.
  • Yes to making my home feel like my own, and no one else’s.
  • Yes to trying to write daily. This is a habit I started a couple of weeks ago as part of my morning routine and I’ve really been enjoying it.
  • Yes to saving a little bit more money this year. I’ve been working on some fun side-gigs that don’t crush my soul.
  • Yes to movement that my body can actually accomplish (aka walking and yoga).
  • Yes to reducing my waste in manageable ways.

What I Will Say No to in 2020

  • No to as many single use plastics as I can.
  • No to buying clothes I can’t confidently re-sell or won’t actually wear.
  • No to trying to make my house look like every house I see on Instagram.
  • No to work commitments that aren’t actually mandatory (I’m already putting in enough overtime as it is).
  • No to overextending myself in my part-time online classes. Getting a 70 is fine. I don’t need to work myself to the ground trying to get a 90. I’m also dropping down to one class for winter 2020.
  • No to gossip (workplace, family, friends, whatever). It’s all toxic and I don’t want it in my life.

I don’t want to make six figures this year. I don’t want to lost 20 pounds. I don’t want to go to the gym every day. I know if I phrase my resolutions like that, they won’t happen.

For the record, if you are great at achieving your New Year resolutions, that is absolutely amazing. Honestly, I wish I could just make a resolution and keep it. Like, that would be life-changing. But I can’t think of a single resolution in my life I have ever completed. Hence my new approach for resolutions going into 2020.

What makes me think I’ll be any more successful than I have been in years past? Honestly, not a lot. I have no concrete proof that I’ll make any more progress than I have in any other year of my life.

Maybe it’s because I feel I need something to work towards this year (like my shopping ban two years ago). Or maybe it’s because I’m turning 30 this year and my existential crisis is right on time. I honestly cannot say. That’s why I want to be clear that I’m not feeling smug or sanctimonious about any of the choices I’m making for 2020.

I just want to try something new and see what happens. If I fail, it won’t be any different from any other year. If I succeed, even a little bit, it will be epic.

The one thing that I know I need to have in order to succeed in my 2020 resolutions is some level of accountability. If I have no system for checking in, my chances of success will decrease. What I hope that ends up looking like is updates here on my progress towards each of my yes/no resolutions. Does that mean you’ll get to read all about my hopefully moderately successful attempt at making kimchi? Heck yes it does.

Is my list of 2020 resolutions massive and life-changing? Probably not. But I don’t want it to be. I want these small statements to help guide my choices for 2020. I’m hoping these yes/no resolutions will help shape my 2020 into an overall more healthy and happy year, with no particular focus on any one area. This year will be all about tiny, incremental changes that I hope will add up to a bigger whole. But, even if they don’t, at least I’ll have an interesting year.

What are you working towards this year? Let me know in the comments!

Image Credit: Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

  • Savvy History January 20, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    You’ve really captured the spirit I am feeling this year (apparently the year is 5% over and I’m only now hopping around to New Year’s posts:)

    “I don’t want to make six figures this year. I don’t want to lost 20 pounds. I don’t want to go to the gym every day. I know if I phrase my resolutions like that, they won’t happen.”

    Well said!

    I haven’t set any concrete audacious goals this year. Usually I do, but I just want to be easy on myself and move forward a little bit each day trusting myself to do the right thing… and like you, learn to say no to things. Saying no (and living from a place of subtraction) has already made a great difference so far!

  • Clare January 9, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    I have adhd, resolutions just don’t happen! I get distracted and forget I ever made them! Now I know adhd is the cause, (yay for being diagnosed at 41!) I don’t make resolutions. I just used to beat myself up over not being able to follow through on anything I wasn’t really excited about. Now I just celebrate positive forward movement towards anything I feel I need to be doing better at, and let myself be excited about the things I’m actually excited about, because I’ll do well at those! Finding out things like this at any age (!) is so helpful if it makes you be kinder to yourself, and it certainly has for me!

  • Chris @ Mindful Explorer January 7, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I’m with you on the no resolutions. I have always felt if I can’t accomplish something at any other time of the year what difference will January 1st make. Much like your yes/no approach mine is about mindset, setting the right foundation should help make the right choices that better align where we are now at in our journeys.

    • Britt @ Tiny Ambitions January 7, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Absolutely Chris! The timing matters less than your mindset. Though I’m sure marketers would like us to believe that we will be more successful at the beginning of the year. Good luck with setting up your foundation for the year and thanks for reading!

  • simplesweetspot January 7, 2020 at 10:27 am

    That sounds like a good plan. I don’t like resolutions either, mostly because if something is worth doing, you should just start it, and not wait for some magic date, like the first, or Monday.

    • Britt @ Tiny Ambitions January 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      I love your perspective! I think it’s easier for people to believe they can accomplish something they want at the beginning of the year but that just does their mindset a disservice for the rest of the year. Thanks for reading!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.