Are resolutions good for you?

It’s that time of year when people start making New Year’s Resolutions. But according to psychologists, most of the time we just end up being unhappy at our failure to do them. We make promises that we don’t keep, which makes us feel bad, and so we do things to feel better. Like comfort eat. And drink too much. And all the other things we probably resolved not to do in the first place.

Here at Mindapples we like to take a more positive approach: we ask people what they’re doing already, and encourage everyone to do more of the things that work for them. We can all think of dozens of things we *should* be doing, but unless we’ve done it, how do we really know it’s right for us? Personally, I’m not interested in promises: I want to know what already works for you, so I can do it too.

So this year, I’m encouraging everyone to resolve to do more of the things you know work for you, and celebrate that we’re all doing better than we sometimes think. Naturally, I’d like one of your resolutions to be doing your five mindapples to look after your mind. But there are probably lots of other things you’d like to do more of in 2010, like playing with your kids, or doing WiiFit yoga, or having your friends round.

So, for 2010, I resolve to do the following things:

  • Play more music
  • Have more conversations with people about Mindapples and other projects that get me excited
  • Spend more time walking in the natural world, particularly climbing things and looking at nice views
  • Learn a bit more Spanish
  • See more of the people I love

And if I don’t do any of those, I resolve to be fine about it, because there was probably a good reason.

Happy New Year from all of us here at Mindapples

Winter apples: image by rabasz from

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7 thoughts on “Are resolutions good for you?

  1. I’ve recently been introduced to this blog and love the concept. Thought I’d chip in (if you don’t mind) with mine: – all designed to make me more happy. The one I left out (which I should have put in) is trying to think a bit less of my own happiness and a bit more of others, which in turn will make me more happy – so it’s slightly disingenous but I agree with km about looking to communities not just ourselves.

    I think New Years resolutions are good in that you have that “start of term” back to school feeling – new pencil case, new school bag. Or in the case of adults, an excuse to start new classes, finally lose that weight, etc etc. Just a shame January is such a miserable month!

  2. Great post – I notice you can link those resolutions to the nef top five – well done!

    And yes – let’s make all resolutions positive and looking forward – no more guilt. Let’s resolve to do what makes our communities feel good – I think we all need a bit of that. I hope 101010 will definitely have that focus – let’s make World Mental Health Day 2010 something to be positive about.

    Happy new year to everyone at mindapples – here’s to a fantastic 2010.

  3. The problem with New Year Resolutions is that they coincide with a time when the house if probably full of chocolate and alcohol, when there is little daylight, when most gyms/pools are closed and many have just received 1,000 hours of boxed-set viewing as gifts. I resolve to resolve at a more suitable time of year, like Spring.

    Happy New Year to all at Midnapples!

  4. Lovely post Andy! I am feeling slightly rebellious this week so have decided that although I am in really good habits on my mindapples now…. that other resolutions this new year, unlike all the other aspects of my life at the moment, should be non-measurable and relaxed. Things like being more thoughtful and fun!

  5. Great idea! Resolutions always end up being broken and then we feel wretched because we’ve not kept them.

    I’ve decided to do more of what already works for me, but to find BETTER or DIFFERENT ways of doing them. So … play more music, but try unexpected artists or genres. Do more walking, but try places you’ve never been.

    I hope it works well for you!

    Chris @ From the Front of the Choir

  6. Great post, Andy.

    Last year I decided to renew my study of French and try sketching and painting. I’ve persevered despite having limited time and as a result, have a real sense of satisfaction in what I have managed to achieve.

    My resolution is to continue enjoying learning these new skills which are both a real contrast to my working life.

    To give you a real sense of what impact this made for me over the last 12 months – this year, my family converted a spare bedroom into an art studio for me. I now have my own space for creative work. And it’s bliss!

    Doing more of what we want to do, rather than what we should do is definitely high on my New Year priorities.

    Have a great 2010.