My advice on how to make New Years resolutions is unconventional. Simply put — don’t make any.
I’m not advocating for you to do nothing. Instead, I think there’s something much more powerful that will actually get the job done.
Allow me a moment to explain…
Many years ago, I was living in a tiny tropical town by the Caribbean sea in Costa Rica. I found this surf shop to rent a bike from while I was there and got into a conversation about surfing with the owner.
The owner taught surf lessons to people like me with no experience whatsoever.
But I always thought that surfing was dangerous. Living over an hour from a large city in a country where I couldn’t speak the language, I could imagine many ways that surfing could totally go awry.
Every day I’d pass the surf shop. The owner would ask me if I was ready for a surf lesson. I said no and had some excuse.
“I’m not strong enough to get up off the board.”
“I don’t want to get all scraped up if I fall and hit the reef.”
This went on for 2 weeks. I had just about every excuse in the book.
Each time, he’d address and counter my excuse so that I couldn’t use it anymore.
Finally, I ran out of excuses and went for a surfing lesson.
Balancing on the board as I surf towards the beach on a small wave, I realized that I was having some of the most fun in my life.
It was an amazing feeling and I wish I’d not wasted all that time allowing excuses to have more of a say over what I did than me.
Why You Shouldn’t Make New Years Resolutions
I share this because every year people feel compelled to make new years resolutions with the hope that maybe… just maybe THIS year this list will help them change.
Well, the reality is that most people don’t accomplish very much.
It’s estimated that a whopping 80% of resolutions are a total bust for various reasons. Take the gym… come January it will be packed! Around 3 to 4 weeks into the new year, the enthusiasm dies off, life goes back to “being too busy”, and the gym becomes a monthly expense on your credit card rather than a place you go to workout.
So if you know that your resolutions won’t help you make changes, then why write them out? Why spend even a moment thinking about them?
Because everyone loves a clean slate and that’s ultimately what New Year’s Day is.
A new chapter to begin.
I gave up on new years resolutions years ago because they’re pointless.
They’re always well-intentioned, but the act of writing them down isn’t the reason you’ll change at all.
A resolution is defined as a “firm decision to do or not to do something.” That’s all well and good, but what a resolution doesn’t address is the stuff that gets in your way.
You know what I’m talking about — those things called “excuses”.
How can you seriously make a firm decision to do or not do something and then just do the opposite like it wasn’t that important in the first place?
Because the excuses bear more importance and more weight than the firm decision itself.
They’re easier to go along with than dealing with the discomfort of sticking with your resolution.
Don’t Make New Years Resolutions (And Do THIS Instead)
That’s why I’m saying this year — don’t make new years resolutions.
Instead, make an excuse list and start busting it one by one just like my surf instructor did for me.
Until you identify the excuses that act as mountains in your life that totally impede progress, it’s entirely unlikely that you’ll stick with any resolution for more than a day or two.
Take sugar — since that’s the biggest resolution that I hear about in my line of work as a clinical nutritionist.
Sugar’s a big resolution for many people because they want to get healthy.
“I’m going to give up sugar this year”, you say to yourself… except when it’s someone’s birthday or you got a promotion or you had a bad day. Or any number of reasons why it’s okay to cheat.
And for the record, all of those “reasons” you tell yourself to justify not following a resolution or goal — they’re all excuses.
That’s where you need to start if you honestly want to see and feel real change in your life.
How To Actually Change (By Making An Excuses List)
So if you want to make a New Year’s Excuses (To Tackle) list… here’s how to do it!
First, pick 3 big things you want to change. Maybe these are the points that you’d normally write down as your new years resolutions.
Then under each one, start writing out every conceivable excuse you’ve made in the past or could imagine yourself using.
When you’re done, take a moment to marvel at that list because it’s usually pretty long.
Then go through and ask yourself line by line how true each excuse is.
Notice how much control each excuse has over you… and how you allow it to alter your behavior overriding what you know is best for yourself.
Post the list somewhere visible and easy to see so that you see it all of the time.
Each week tackle 1 or 2 excuses. Once you’ve busted them, cross them off of your list.
As you go deeper and deeper into the list, you’ll find that sticking to the resolution becomes a lot less difficult.
This is ultimately about taking back your control in life. Excuses render you feeling incredibly safe and (unbeknownst to you) powerless.
How To Stop Eating Sugar In The New Year
Back to the bit about sugar for a moment… if you know you went way overboard with sugar over the holidays (or maybe that is pretty normal for you), then breaking your sugar habit might be on your resolutions list, right?
But I’m willing to bet that you’ve tried to break up with your love of sugar before and it hasn’t gone so well. You’re good for a few days… maybe even a couple of weeks, but then something happens and you fall right back off the wagon.
A whole year goes by and you’re back to “I really need to stop eating all of this sugar”. This pattern is sort of like a broken record.
But I want you to know that there is a way to make it stop. I know that it’s possible thanks to my many years of experience both as a clinical nutritionist and personally ditching sugar.
Part of what makes it so difficult to break free from is that YOU aren’t at fault for your addiction to sugar
You heard me right… it’s not your fault.
Yes, sure… you chose to eat all of those sugary items, but the reality is that food companies have done a lot of things to put you in the position that you’re in. They’ve used science against you and learned how to override your willpower so you can’t ever say no.
I think you’ll really enjoy this webinar –> REGISTER HERE … it’s totally free to join me!
I call it the “Gluten-Free Sugar Addict’s Guide to Break Up With Sugar… For Good.”
It kicks off at 7pm ET on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
(To be entirely clear, I won’t hold this webinar again this year, so now is the only chance to tune in!)
When you get your hands on simple tools like what I’ll share, it makes beating back those excuses around why you eat sugar so much easier.
That’s all for now… so forget about the resolutions and this year, tackle your excuses. I’ll bet you’ll be light-years ahead by the end of this new year compared to where you’re starting now.
Wishing you a lovely and action-packed new year filled with lots of excuse-busting! Who knows… maybe you’ll finally do something you’ve always wanted to do, but were afraid to!
Thanks for joining me and I’ll see you the next time! Bye bye!
Make New Years Resolutions Podcast SHOW NOTES
Gluten-Free Sugar Addict’s Guide to Break Up With Sugar… For Good → Grab your FREE seat here
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