Attractive middle aged woman in a bright yellow sweater holds an empty hand for an anti-advertisement product. Excited woman showing the sign of stop

This year, instead of just thinking about things to do in the new year, consider some things not to do.

With another year in the books and a full new year looming ahead, for many, it is a time of reflection and goal setting.

This year, instead of just thinking about things to do in the new year, consider some things not to do.

3 things to stop doing in 2020

1. Stop reacting. Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and the events in our lives. One problem is that we often react due to the lack of our own goals and a plan for accomplishing them, or to our own fears and insecurities. When we aren’t living intentionally, we can fall prey to other people’s schedules or let fear keep us from our dreams. A big key to success is learning how to respond rather than to react. One of your best tools is having a plan for your day and intentionally acting on what is important to you. While planning is very helpful, not everything goes according to plan. Life is full of choices, big and small. When facing a choice or considering an action, take a moment to consider what is most important to you, weigh the consequences and benefits, then take deliberate, purposeful action based on your values and goals. Pause and think before reacting. Don’t let fear or lack of a plan rule, live intentionally.  

2. Stop comparing. The addition of social media has taken comparison to a new level. With friends posting only the highlights and best moments in their lives, it is easy to think their lives are always happy and problem free. When you are struggling, your life can seem like a dismal failure in comparison. Everyone has their good times and their bad times, don’t get fooled into thinking you are the only one struggling. The important thing is to keep learning, growing and to not give up. If you are learning and improving, you are succeeding.

Another form of comparison is to compare yourself against the perceived expectation of others. You might set a goal based on what you think someone else wants you to do or to be. These goals are rarely successful. It is hard to get excited about and to stick with a goal that isn’t really your own.  Set goals that are important to YOU.

3. Stop making excuses. We often get in our own way when considering goals for our future by telling ourselves that we are too old, or too young, or not good enough in some way. We also get in our way by blaming other people or circumstances. Take responsibility for yourself and your own progress. Focus on things you can control. Believe in yourself, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone in pursuit of something meaningful for your future.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” In this new year, intentionally create some new, better thoughts for your future. While thinking about things you want to do, also think about those things you want to stop doing that are getting in the way of your success and happiness.  

Stop reacting and start living purposefully; stop comparing and be YOUR best self; stop making excuses and go after your dreams. Take strength in the new day and the new year and create your best life.

Pamela Adams Henrie is the owner of The Success Choice and creator of "The Success Choice Planner" and the "Choosing Joy in the Journey Journal." For more information, or to contact Pamela, visit her website at, or her blog at