Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happiness Project: Yes or No Resolver

This week's Happiness Project resolution is to determine whether you are a "yes" resolver or a "no" resolver -- meaning, do you respond better to resolutions like "Always do this" or "Do more of this" or to resolutions like "Stop doing this" or "Avoid that".

I'm not really sure where I fall. Many of the resolutions I make (and keep) are "yes" resolutions -- but I also do very well, actually, with "no" resolutions. One of the things that helped me quit smoking was to think of myself in the negative: I am not a smoker. Non-smokers don't smoke. Therefore, I don't smoke. This also worked when I was saving up for an emergency fund and didn't go out to eat: My policy or resolution was that I can't (or won't) go out until I've saved up $X.

The thing about "no" resolutions is that it's kind of depressing, even for a person who responds well to "no", to see a list of don'ts and shouldn'ts and no longers. I prefer to keep my resolutions positive and growth-oriented, even if I respond well to "no" resolutions.

Perhaps I can think of it both ways: Resolution 4: Save Enough to Hurt a Little could turn into "Don't spend on non-necessities until I've put an extra $200 in savings". Resolution 11: Read Through My Library could become "Stop going to the library until two shelves in my apartment are cleared off." Resolution 7: Declutter could be "Never go to bed without putting something on the Goodwill pile."


Are you a "yes" resolver or a "no" resolver?


  1. Defintiely a yes - I'm more trying to start good habits than break bad ones (I don't really have any awful vices...I don't really drink alcohol or fizzy drinks or coffee or spend lots on clothes, etc.) I want to save more, exercise more, be more productive.

  2. this is a really interesting way of looking at things....I think over the years I have changed from a no to a yes.

  3. I agree with freckles. I myself have been a no person through out the years but I think I may have to try to be more of a yes and word things differently to myself. Maybe I'll see more of a change with the way I read over my goals. :)


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