The 11 Dumbest New Year’s Resolutions of All Time

UPDATED: February 8, 2023
PUBLISHED: December 15, 2022
woman crumpling list of stupid new years resolutions

Alright! It’s 2023, Success Seekers!

How is your hangover feeling on a scale from 1 to 10? Did you know studies have shown the degree of your hangover on New Year’s Day correlates specifically to just how awesome that year is going to be in general? Good. Because it’s not true.

Better question: Have you broken all your New Year’s resolutions yet?

Well, don’t worry. If you haven’t yet, you will eventually, I’m sure. Hang in there.

New Year’s resolutions are stupid anyway. Here’s how to never set them again and still lose weight, make more money and stop doing almost everything you’re currently doing that’s destroying yourself, myself, the planet and everyone in your near vicinity:

Step 1: Go find your list of stupid New Year’s resolutions and throw it away. Throw it away HARD. Maybe set your trash can up on a shelf, wad the list up, light it on fire and do a 360 tomahawk dunk with it. Yell at the can for good measure.

If the list is in your computer, dunk your computer.

Step 2: Go get your list out of the trash because I just realized we need it for step 3. Hopefully you didn’t dunk it too hard if it’s in your computer.

Step 3: Retitle your list “new life resolutions.” Instead of doing this every year, you’re just going to do it once and be set for life.

Step 4: Edit your list as suggested below.

New Year’s Resolutions I Think Are Stupid

1. Lose 20 pounds.

Instead: Eat foods that don’t shorten my lifespan considerably.

Enjoy watching myself shrink rapidly. Get used to people asking me if I have cancer or something because they rarely see people get so skinny so freakishly fast. Prepare to finance an entire new wardrobe, which is way more of an actual problem than I’m thinking right now.

Start liking and respecting myself. When I eat, ask myself: “What specifically am I putting in my body and why? Where did it come from originally—an open field or a laboratory? What will the inevitable outcome be if I do this repeatedly? Would Jesus eat this? Is it even real food or just a bizarre combination of random hazardous materials? What does ‘Red Dye No. 2’ even mean?”

Picture my kids crying at my funeral. Realize I could have postponed that weep-a-thon by probably 20 years if I would have taken the article I’m reading right this second more seriously.

Find a more enlightened reason to live besides zombily giving my body every single thing it asks for all day long. Zombily: like a zombie. New word. Someone has to make them up.

Realize losing 20 pounds is a stupid New Year’s resolution because I don’t have control over pounds, I only have control over what I put in my mouth on a habitual basis. Pounds go up or down on their own regardless.

2. Quit smoking.

Instead: Invent a time machine and go back to the 1920s when no one knew smoking was another way of saying “I’ve decided to commit slow suicide and enjoy it.”

Smoke strictly during that time period so at least I can pretend I didn’t know. Have the epiphany that smoking is for total losers. The Marlboro man is not cool anymore. Neither is Joe Camel. Respect myself.

3. Quit drinking.

Instead: Haha. Just delete this one. Or consider cutting back on how much you drink.

4. Start being on time to work.

Instead: Realize conventional jobs are dinosaurs one decade away from the ice age.

Quit my job, start a business, hire people and yell at them when they’re late. Until the robots come. Then fire everyone and buy some robots who are notoriously punctual. Do not ever let the bots have rights. If your robots go on strike for any reason, physically destroy them all and buy new ones. Man this is going to be so much easier than dealing with humans. I can’t wait.

5. Start saving money.

Instead: Start making so much money that it’s impossible not to save it. 

To not save money should be like Mission Impossible—but actually impossible, unlike the movie. Say “money is easy to make” out loud 500 times a day until it becomes true.

In all seriousness, do save your money. But don’t make it a New Year’s resolution. That’s thinking in the wrong direction.

6. Get out of debt.

Instead: See the fix to the previous stupid New Year’s resolution.

7. Go back to school.

Instead: Punch myself.

8. Learn something new.

Instead: Read one book a month (at least).

9. Take a vacation.

Instead: Transform my life into a permanent vacation.

Think this one is a pipe dream? Well, come shadow me for a day and smoke on this:

The 11 Dumbest New Year's Resolutions of All Time

Me fishing from my backyard on a random Tuesday afternoon. Check out that chest hair. I’m a big Tom Selleck fan.

10. Get a better job.

Instead: Discover why I was born and what I’m really, really good at.

Go do that. Apply to myself for the job. Read Choose Yourself by James Altucher.

11. Start volunteering.

Instead: See previous stupid New Year’s Resolution.

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s my point… I don’t really have one, but the following statement that I’m trying to think of as I type is going to be so true that no one in any dimension could possibly argue with it.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work because they imply that you’re not already trying to accomplish them. A healthy, well-balanced, successful life should be the standard every day of every year of your entire life. It should never appear out of the blue as a stupid New Year’s resolution on some special day. Rather, it has to be a lifestyle.

They also don’t work because they’re focused on outer superficial things that you have no control over. Losing weight is superficial. Being a healthy person is foundational. Values are much more powerful than goals. Goals are superficial. Values are fundamental. Goals are directional. Values are the drivers. If you have a goal to lose weight but don’t value health and vanity, I promise you failure. Did I say vanity? I meant just health. People dieting and “trying to lose weight” aren’t skinny—at least they don’t stay that way for long. Healthy people dedicated to respecting their bodies are skinny.

For example, I don’t go on diets or count calories or own scales or any of that normal horrible sounding stuff. I simply decided a long time ago that I wanted to be a healthy person, feel good and have shredded abs look my best. I valued those things much more than momentary tastiness. It was just a logical decision. As a result I’ve never had to set a resolution or a goal concerning health. As a matter of fact, it would be virtually impossible to improve my health. If I improved my health one iota I’d probably never die. And since my only friends at that point would be vampires and Dick Clark, I have no desire for that—it’s too dangerous. Wait, did Clark die? He may have died recently. Just pretend he’s still alive for the sake of that’s-the-funniest-name-for-this-paragraph. He’s probably secretly still alive anyway. Clark, don’t die.

What I Do Instead of Making Stupid New Year’s Resolutions

Humanly speaking (because we could actually go deeper than this non-humanly speaking), a lifelong commitment to personal growth makes resolutions—and even goals—irrelevant and unnecessary. I haven’t set a goal in years, and I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I mean, I write a wish list down every year. But I don’t make a plan of attack and track it or anything obnoxious like that. I just work my ass off and the stuff eventually appears.

The person passionately and consistently dedicated to improving in all areas of their life will never have to step on a scale, balance a checkbook, budget, make resolutions or almost anything else the masses do. They’ll just live leisurely. Stress free. 

Place personal growth toward the top of your list of values. There will be nothing to resolve on Jan. 1 besides… nothing. You’ll just keep being skinny, productive, healthy, wealthy and sexy.

The end.

Just in case you didn’t get anything out of this article, here’s a secret of the universe revealed:

Happy New Year!

This article was published in January 2020 and has been updated. Photo by iona didishvili/Shutterstock

Preston Ely is founder and CEO of, an Inc. magazine "Fastest Growing Company." He has built and sold multiple businesses and was recently voted one of Fast Company's "Most Influential People On The Internet." He makes $0 a year teaching success principles; he makes millions of dollars a year applying them to his own life and businesses. He writes articles for for the fun of it. Follow him at, on Facebook and on Twitter.