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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Here are 21 tips for making New Years Resolutions easier and more successful. May they help you realize all your ambitions and dreams in 2015!
- Forget deadlines or acquisition of goals. They aren’t products you could purchase from Walmart. Instead, stay focused on the activities that move you toward your outcome.
- Maintain consistency, no matter how the clock ticks or what setbacks you encounter. Stay dedicated like dripping water – which can cut a channel through a mountain.
- Let yourself to feel good about the activity or process and adventure of becoming the person you want to be.
- Let your resolution to become part of a lifestyle that involves new friends and new fun activities and new locations.
- Associate with people who are successful at happily achieving and maintaining the same kind of goal you have.
- Adopt the beliefs, attitudes, and habits of successful people. Don’t commiserate, believe, or complain in the way unsuccessful people do. Instead if spending lest time with people who “share your struggle” but never succeed, cultivate friends who have succeeded where you want to – and spend as much time as possible around them.
- Make a specific and scheduled plan for taking manageable, bite-sized actions on a consistent basis.
- Schedule and prioritize those consistent bite-sized actions on your calendar.
- Write the personal deeply-held values that relate to your goal – and your bite-sized actions next to them on the calendar where you’ve prioritized those actions within your schedule.
- Feel good about keeping those values-affirming appointments.
Reward yourself in ways that empower (not sabotage) your goals.
- Congratulate yourself and memorialize in writing the progress you create.
- Imagine and design goals where final decisions are in your control.
- Focus on those parts of your progress that you most control.
- Take consistent meaningful action. Whenever you notice something that “has to be done first”, challenge that truthfulness of that – and re-focus on keeping your consistency. Remember that consistency is a goal in itself.
- Make all your resolutions a reasonably achievable size.
- Measure progress toward a goal. Forget how much is left and focus on progress.
- Forget the goal itself – and how dramatic your struggle is. Instead, stay focused on the process of your transformation.
- Think consciously about how much attention some people get by failing. Resolve to win by winning.
- Make new friends by winning your goal. Whenever we take-on something new, we begin as “the newbie”. With each benchmark we achieve, we qualify ourselves to a new level “in the club” of people who have already walked that path. Remember to reach out and join the “circle of winners”.
- Feel both worthy and deserving. Because you are here, you are worthy of your own best effort, and your own best effort makes you worthy of progress, and progress maintained will carry you to success. Feel worthy as you step forward.
- UNDERSTAND and believe that successful resolutions are about the outcomes of consistent practices or lifestyles.
Please share your resolutions and personal strategies for success below. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions for the success of others, please share them below. I will do my best to answer every one!
Quality failure requires proper planning. Here are five stealth methods for failing your New Year’s resolutions – because success would be lonely.
Most people think a “lack of willpower” is enough to guarantee failure – and that’s one excuse, but that’s the wrong answer because your friends and significant other know it’s a flaccid, pitiful, unoriginal – and totally obvious excuse.
Most people aren’t broken or “lacking willpower”. So, a quality New Year’s Resolution failure needs a truly bad strategy – not just bad genes or lame excuses.
Your strategy has to have decent stealth features, or it’ll be too obvious, and people will laugh at you for even saying it.
Here are FIVE strategic ways to guarantee a quality New Year’s Resolution FAIL:
- “I will lose 20 pounds by the end of February.”
- “I will spend more time with my family.”
- “I will get Nancy to marry me.”
- “I will make a million dollars.”
- “I will weigh 125 pounds.”
These are typical resolutions. They are all stated in positive terms – which makes them ideal stealth-failure resolutions!
Check Them Out:
1. “I will lose 20 pounds by the end of February.”
This goal is positive, and healthy, and that “end of February” deadline is the perfect kind of overly-specific booby-trap to trigger stress-eating – or just plain stressing – which causes the body to retain weight.
People who want to stay fat (or even gain weight) should try to do stress-eating. And, they need to avoid being active and getting outside. Going outside burns calories. It also exposes a person to sunshine – which helps their body synthesize serotonin. And, that totally ruins the seasonal affective depression that helps them binge on carbohydrates like pretzels, chips, and pasta.
Physical activity relieves stress – which interferes with stress eating and the hormone levels you want to maintain to insure you maintain or gain more fat.
January is the best time of year to make excuses for staying inside and inactive. It’s cold, it’s snowing, it’s miserable, you get a cold, it’s flu season, you have to brush off the windshield, it gets dark early. And, if any of those fail, you can always misplace your gloves.
The more non-perfect performance days that tick off through January, the more weight you have to lose PER DAY to avoid failure.
At some point, even your significant other will forgive you for just surrendering – taking the couch-lounging path that ultimately gives you 11 months and 4 days of peace until you have to do it again. (If you don’t count your significant other totally checking out the hot-bodied so-and-so at the lake.)
If you really want to fail your New Year’s Resolution, make sure you put your goal on a deadline.
2. “I will spend more time with my family.”
This goal is positive, and a good idea, and just non-specific enough: There’s no method – and no metrics (tracking system). You can totally make easy excuses any time it comes up. No real action will happen, and by the time anyone notices – around the time you have that big fight in July or so – you’ll have “already failed” – and you can put it off again until next Christmas!
When you want to make a totally fail-destined resolution, making it seem positive, while structurally vague and without any way to track progress – is certain to be helpful. And, by that, I mean to insure failure.
3. “I will get Nancy to marry me.”
There’s that good positive-sounding facade – behind it hiding one of the best resolution fail tricks in the book: You aren’t really in control of it. You can make a big production, and spend money and take a trip and hire a sky-writer. You can do all that with utter security that most jewelers will take the ring back when she says “no”. And, the refund will probably let you pay off the proposal vacation you maxed-out your credit card for.
One of the best ways to insure a resolution fail – and to build-in an escape from accountability – or even create a pity-wringing victim status – is to make sure someone else is in control of the main choice(s) or actions that produce the outcome.
Consistently focus on any part you don’t fully control– especially trivial ones. Do this especially if that part isn’t actually necessary. Find ways to say that others are in control of various trivial, but essential prerequisites to you taking meaningful action.
4. “I will make a million dollars.”
By now, you recognize the “positivity paint” on this baby, and you may already be noticing that a ridiculously-gigantic and very specific goal is just the thing to insure a quality resolution fail. The “lose 20 pounds by February” resolution used time pressure to help guarantee failure. This one does the same thing, just using gigantic size instead of a short time-frame.
No matter the degree of progress, make sure you never measure progress, and always focus on how huge the rest of the resolution is.
And, the result is the same: You get out of the effort much earlier by surrendering to how much harder it seems to make a $999,000 in only seven months.
When you want to fail a resolution, don’t make it big, or even challenging; make it ridiculously huge. Nobody will blame you for surrendering. And, in the meantime, everyone will say how “ambitious” you are.
5. “I will weigh XXX pounds.”
Positive. Controllable. Right-sized to your starting weight. How are you going to fail that one?
This is the stealthiest of the fails: The outcome-obsessed fail. This one requires some greed, but most people can supply that. You have to stay focused on the outcome – like Gollum with the ring.
You have to crave and obsess and struggle with it all the time. And, it’s best if you dramatize that with your family and friends – being so brave and “strong” whenever anyone is watching. Max-out that willpower in the most dramatic possible ways.
That allows you the flexibility to rationalize and justify and excuse and deny the “cheating” and binging you’ll do when nobody is around.
It’s OK: You totally deserve all those treats and rewards for the incredible shirt-popping will-power you’re profiling.
Nobody will blame you when you boomerang around Valentine’s day, gaining back nine of the five pounds you lost before then. They’ll believe the “big boned” thing – at least when you’re in the room.
Keep in mind that nobody likes a successful New Year’s Resolution winner-bully – and everyone loves the story of a dramatic failure.
Remember, your friends will feel bad if you outdo them. Remember that victory laps are short-lived and elitist, while martyrdom and pining for unrequited success offers an endless source of conversation and attention. If you were to succeed, you would have to invent an entirely new line of conversation and basis for connecting to your friends.
Please share your own New Year’s Resolutions. Share your plans, and I’ll give you some free tips on how to insure the outcome you really want!
Due to popular demand from clients and friends – and because I teased you in this this earlier post, here’s my favorite recipe for non-dairy mocha. I make this stuff a pitcher at a time and store in the ‘fridge in this easy-to-clean wide-mouth Nalgene water bottle.
It’ll keep for up to 2 weeks, allowing you to have a rich, creamy, chocolaty, coffee treat – without dairy – any time you like (and, with your own chosen level of caffeine.) It gets creamier and tastier as the week goes by.
- 1 cup raw organic cashews, soak in water for 24 – 72 hours in the refrigerator.
- 6 tbsp organic cacao powder
- 6 capfuls (from the bottle) of organic vanilla
- 6 tsp of instant coffee. (I use half Folger’s decaf and half instant espresso)
- 4 cups of filtered water
Put it all in a Blendtech or comparable device. I use this one. Process on “whole juice”, and you’ll get ~ 5.5 cups of dark, rich, non-dairy mocha.
After it sits in the fridge, shake well before pouring and stir often while drinking. I like this as much as any commercial version, and it’s way less sugar & fat, plus nutritious. Part of my breakfast most mornings.
I hope you like the above. If you have a similar recipe you like and want to share, please do that below. If you have any questions or other comments, please leave them and I’ll make sure to respond.
Be well and happy!
Several clients and friends have asked about the contents of my breakfast drinks – my “hot green smoothies”. For a health bonus, I’m going to share my approximate recipe. I say approximate because it shifts with season and what organic stuff is available.
I specifically look for leafy greens, ginger, and hot peppers. So, the thing changes from day to day accordingly. And, be warned that any spiciness will increase in parts you keep overnight.
The recipe below often produces more juice than the blender will hold, so I do the juicing first, and then put in a large pitcher, then use as much of that juice as necessary to process the blender. After processing, then mix everything in the pitcher.
This produces 4+ sixteen-ounce glasses of healthy breakfast yumminess. Trish and I each drink one, and refrigerate the remainder in these wide-mouth Nalgene water bottles for fast easy on-the-go the second day. The investment is something close to an hour of prep every other day, and between $5-$16 worth of produce to get four nutritious breakfast meals.
This meal is nutritious and filling enough to keep me active – even climbing the mountain and paragliding – until the lunch meal, without any hunger pangs. It will, however, really keep your digestive system active (colon-healthy). So, make sure you’re used to it – and have your schedule worked-out – before you set out on long drives or hikes…
I’ve had it for close to 3 years, processing these sorts of meals almost daily, and certainly several times per week. It’s never broken-down, and I’d buy another one in a heartbeat.
This is my typical juicer ingredients list:
- Several handfuls of baby spinach
- Couple of handfuls of spring mix, or power greens, or wheat grass, or turnip greens, or kale, etc.
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 apple
- half-dozen small sweet peppers, or maybe an Anaheim
- 1 hot pepper (Serrano OR jalapeno – to taste)
- handful of ginger chunks to taste
- Sometimes add beets, or peas – whatever else seems good
Juice all that stuff and pour into pitcher and then get the blender ready.
I’ve had it for over a year, processing these sorts of things almost daily, as well as guacamole, blender ice-cream – all sorts of stuff. It’s expensive, but a really great kitchen device.
The typical blender ingredients list will be something like this:
- Whole orange, organic, HALF-peeled (keep half the peel for nutrients – the whole peel will make it a bit bitter)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 small or medium tomato
- 1 handful of raw cashew nuts
- 2-3 large spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
- 1-2 cups of seasonal berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries – whatever I can get)
Add enough juice from the pitcher to allow blender processing. When done, mix it all in the pitcher by hand. Pour and enjoy. The extra will last 24 hours or more in a refrigerator before beginning to taste bad.
HOT TIP: If you get a juice that’s too hot for your taste, and you don’t mind dairy, you can cut the heat considerably by adding some cream or half/half or milk and stirring. I recommend doing this right before drinking rather than storing that way.
I chase my juice drink with 16 ounces of water, and a special non-dairy mocha drink – the recipe for which I’ll share sometime soon.
Hope you like the above. If you have a smoothie recipe you like and want to share, please do that below. If you have any questions or other comments, please leave them and I’ll make sure to respond.
Be well and happy!