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Un-Resolutions: The Lazy Way to Be More Successful

How do you know if un-resolutions are for you? Are you burnt out, overwhelmed, or exhausted? Does the very thought of goals/resolutions or adding anything more to your schedule make you sigh heavily? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, then you need a different strategy. Un-Resolutions are for you!

What if we could be healthier, wealthier and happier by doing less or even nothing at all?

I love this idea of un-resolutions. Un-resolutions is simply not doing stuff — instead of doing stuff — to improve your life. As a life coach, it feels a bit sacrilegious. Do nothing? If you are feeling even slightly overwhelmed then this strategy is for you. So often we think we need to do more to enjoy life more and be more successful. What if instead of doing more you did less this year or deliberately did nothing at all? The advantages to doing less are surprisingly huge. For instance, doing nothing:

  1. is free.
  2. doesn’t take any time, in fact it gives you more time. Hooray!
  3. easily fits into your existing lifestyle and schedule.
  4. doesn’t require any special kit, tools or equipment.
  5. can start or stop at any time. You are in complete control.

 

Talane’s Top 10 Un-Resolutions for Truly Effortless Success

1. Fasting. If you don’t eat a meal, you don’t have to buy it (saves money) and you don’t have to prepare it (saves time). Also, it works with any diet, requires no special ingredients or cooking utensils, diet books, menu plans or tools. It requires no calorie, point or other forms of tracking or counting. Further, it requires no measuring or weighing. You can do it for as long or as little as you wish (i.e., alternate-day, intermittent fasting). You can keep doing it until you get the results you desire. The health benefits are amazing and have been scientifically documented. It promotes autophagy which is the body’s way of cleaning house naturally, and may reduce the risk for cancer.  It works for every body type and size, men and women. (Not recommended for children or nursing moms). It has been used for centuries as a health tonic/cure. Why not give not eating a try? Want the science? Read The Alternate-Day Diet by Johnson and Laub. Of course, check with your doctor before eating nothing.

2. Meditating is basically sitting still, doing nothing and thinking about nothing for as long as you can. Sounds really easy, but it is actually really hard to do nothing. Profound mental health benefits ensue even if you think about absolutely nothing at all for ten minutes a day. 

3. Sleeping may be more important to weight loss than diet. Plus, it’s the ultimate in doing nothing because you are unconscious. Sleep has wonderful documented health and mental wellbeing benefits. Do less, sleep more and watch your mood and productivity improve effortlessly.

4. Undo. Say no. Decline invitations gracefully. Commit to less. Un-commit from prior promises/obligations and roles you’ve taken on. Limit kids to one extra-curricular activity/sport.

5. No screens. Okay, don’t panic. Let’s compromise on less screen time. Work up to a screen-free Saturday or Sunday. If you do less screens, less social media, less TV, less surfing the web, then you’ll gain in both happiness and productivity. Try a screen-free evening a few times a week. Make it phone-free time after 7:30 pm. For one thing, you’ll get your kids back. I’ve taken the phones from the kids for a week or two at a time for no particular reason other than that they weren’t being present. Remarkably, they didn’t drop down and die. Although given the initial histrionics, I was slightly worried. 

6. Stop cleaning/chores. Hire a house cleaner or delegate to family members and children to buy yourself more time. In fact, any time-consuming, tedious task that you can stop doing should be considered a possible un-resolution candidate for this year. Research studies show that buying time is one way that money definitely makes you happier. You might even gain financially by delegating time-consuming tasks. This is because it frees you up to focus on more creative, higher-income producing work.

If you feel you do more than your fair share of household chores, read the book, Fair Play by Eve Rodsky to get some of the domestic work off your plate and lighten your mental load. 

7. Sun-bathing. Basically doing nothing, but with the variation that you are lying in the sun to soak up some much needed vitamin D. Turns out kids in California use so much sunscreen they are becoming vitamin D deficient. And, it looks like vitamin D may be essential to weight loss as well as health. If you are in the midst of winter and are feeling a bit low, you might have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and could benefit from sunbathing under an artificial sun lamp.

8. Stop complaining. Again, this is something you can stop doing that has tremendous mental benefits. Additionally, a natural result of this makes you more attractive and fun to be around. No one is attractive when complaining or whining. 

9. Automate your investing so you do nothing but check it yearly (or forget about it entirely). There was, very briefly, an article on the Fidelity site that revealed that the most successful investors were dead. Nate Tobik, of Oddball Stocks writes:

“Fidelity released a study discussing a performance breakdown for their accounts. The clients that did the best were the ones who were dead. The second-best performing set of clients forgot they had Fidelity accounts. It seems like a formula to beat the market is to start an account, forget about it, then die. Your heirs will thank you and marvel at your investing prowess.”

Fidelity has since removed this article for obvious reasons, so I can’t link to it. You can read the original article about it by Nate Tobik here. If you want to emulate this very successful strategy, have no fear, you don’t need to die just yet. Try Vanguard’s LifeStrategy or Target Retirement funds for automatic rebalancing. Once you set up your account for automatic contributions, you’re done for the year or even decades to come. Nothing like doing nothing!

[Full disclosure: I am not a CFP or financial advisor. I do use Vanguard as my investment house of choice because it has the lowest fees on index funds and ETFs. Plus, they are really nice on the phone. I do not get any commission or even any brownie points by mentioning Vanguard. And of course, always consult with your own fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor before doing nothing for years to come.]

10. Automate your fun and happiness with a weekly date night with your partner and a weekly fun night out with friends. Make it a standing event — same place, same time — until you get bored enough to change it. Less planning + less hassle = more fun!

Bonus tip: Automate a weekly massage – yes, more lying, but this one is an upgrade with fabulous health and well-being benefits. Not to mention that it just feels good. Okay, this one costs money, but your partner could do it if money is an issue. However, you’ll have saved so much money from doing the other un-resolutions that you can now afford it! 

I guarantee you if you don’t do even half of these New Year’s un-resolutions, you’ll be happier, healthier and wealthier by the end of the year! 😉

Enjoy doing nothing for a change!

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