The Do Not Do List

A Revolutionary Concept to Kickstart the New Year

As the new year unfolds, we find ourselves immersed in the timeless tradition of seeking a fresh start—a cultural practice that has spanned over 200 years in our Western society. Many Americans embrace the spirit of self-improvement, often manifested in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. As the calendar pages turn, we must introspectively inquire: Is this a refined and enhanced version of ourselves, or are we simply adhering to the status quo of yesteryear? Do our aspirations mirror those familiar hopes from the past – the desire to shed weight, contribute more to our communities, adopt healthier eating habits, quit smoking, consume less alcohol, escape the clutches of debt, and amass savings?

If your answer aligns with maintaining multiple unfulfilled resolutions, welcome to the Procrastinators Club, the world’s largest organization, boasting a membership of 98% of the population. The comfort lies in the fact that you’re not alone.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the frequency of fresh starts. Beyond the grandeur of a new year, opportunities abound every month, every week, and even every day. The dawn of each morning and the commencement of each hour provide us with a chance for renewal. The abundance of opportunities invites us to break free from the Procrastinators Club’s grip.

So, let’s entertain a revolutionary concept to kickstart the new year – craft a “Do Not Do List.” Constrain this list to 10 items, contemplating habits and behaviors that hinder personal growth. Are you spending excessive hours in front of the television? Indulging in post-dinner snacking on sweets? Overcommitting by perpetually saying yes to others? Hitting the snooze button habitually? Drowning in social media or texting? Succumbing to impulsive purchases? Oversleeping or battling sleep deprivation? Chronically tardy? Lacking a consistent exercise routine?

Recognize that these habits bear consequences, hindering the pursuit of life’s dreams and goals. It’s time to break free from the allure of the Procrastinators Club. Begin with the first resolution on your “Do Not Do List”: DO NOT renew my membership in the Procrastinators Club. Elevate yourself beyond procrastination, embrace positive change, and let this be the year you stride confidently toward success.


Author Larry Tracey is the Executive Director of Youth4Youth, author, speaker, and member of the WOW Coalition, a prevention association that promotes safe and healthy choices and responds to problems caused by alcohol, marijuana, and Rx abuse by implementing strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use.

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