The 3 biggest new year's resolution mistakes and how to avoid them

Every year it’s about the same.

You put on a few pounds during the eating and drinking bonanza that is the holidays.

You want to use the New Year as a fresh start of sorts. A clean slate to shrug off the copious amounts of holiday parties and all the resulting food guilt.

And fair enough. Resolutions are as much tradition as they are habit. At the end of the year we’re meant to reflect on the past year or something.

Personally when I look back on 2018 this happens:

Now, in the past I would have poo pooed the whole notion of resolutions as inherently flawed. That setting resolutions was a recipe for failure, frustration, and continued weight gain. And in a lot of ways I still think this depending on how you go about it.

These days, I do think there is a way to make resolutions and actually keep them. To actually keep using that gym membership you paid for. To realize that vision of yourself you have when you’re setting your resolutions.

But, there are some prerequisites.

Don’t worry pre-calc isn’t one of them.

However, just as taking calculus without doing pre-calc is a bad idea, setting forth without proper preparation will positively put you in a perilous position.

First, you have to figure out why your resolutions don’t stick.

Luckily, I’ve done that part for you. Below I explain how to set yourself up for failure (what you perhaps normally do) and how set yourself up for success (what you’ll do differently this time).

You can’t just keep doing what you do every year if it hasn’t been working.

Here’s how to make your 2019 resolutions different from every other year.

Mistake #1: Going way too hard at the beginning

I get it. Your motivation is in overdrive. Everyone’s is.

You’re super excited to change things. You’re fired up and ready to go.

You’re excited to eat healthy and go to the gym everyday. You’re fueled by the vision you have of yourself as a lean, fit person who feels at home in gym clothes, drinks protein shakes, and feels great in their body.

More motivation is often seen as a good thing. However, this is actually a problem in disguise.

Because here’s what happens.

You have all this motivation you want to take advantage of. You start going to the gym every single day. You’re sore after every workout. You eat clean at every meal. You never deviate from the plan.

No chocolate. No carbs. No fun.

You push yourself really hard.

Too hard in fact. You burn out.

Within two weeks your motivation is completely used up, along with any willpower or desire to get fit.

This path isn’t sustainable. It’s too much too soon. Your body and your brain push back because the change wasn’t gradual enough.

Your body and your brain don’t like change. Whenever you try and change something, there will be pushback.

For every force there is an equal and opposite force. This is known as Newton’s Third Law.

The more aggressive the change, the fiercer the pushback. This comes in the form of getting hurt, bored, burnt out, or distracted.

The solution

You can’t avoid this pushback entirely, but you can overpower it with sustained pressure.

If your car breaks down, you don’t get a running start if you’re trying to move the thing. Because you’d simply crash into the bumper with the car remaining completely unperturbed.

Car-1. You-0.

Instead, you start slowly. Continuing to push. Consequently, the car goes faster and faster. It becomes easier to push once it’s moving.

This concept can also be demonstrated with strength training. Go too heavy too soon and you get hurt. But if you add weight little by little over time, you get stronger.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to capitalize on how motivated you’re feeling.

But don’t give into it entirely. Don’t rely on it.

Because this feeling only lasts about 2 weeks. If you try to change everything all at once, you ultimately revert to old habits once you inevitably run out of steam.

Motivation is simply another feeling. While emotions are obviously important to feel and listen to, logic should ultimately shape your decisions.

Store up some of that energy for later. Consistency always beats intensity. Ultimately this game is about long term consistency. So you need to go slowly and methodically.

Build up your healthy behaviors over time. Just focus on 1 manageable change per week. These changes will compound if you stay consistent. Just make 1 new change a week. No matter how small.

Just like with your broken down car, it gets easier and easier to keep moving.

Mistake #2: You pick resolutions you don’t have control of

You can’t control most things in life. Fat loss is one of them.

You might be thinking:

"What the bleep are you talking about? Of course you can! You just have to eat healthy and exercise!"

And you just proved my point.

You can only control how you eat and how you exercise. You can’t control how fast your body loses fat.

You can only control your actions. You cannot control how your body exactly responds to those actions.

Setting a goal that, realistically, isn’t in your power is a recipe for failure and frustration because it’s too dependent on chance.

Plus, saying you’re going to lose 50 lbs doesn’t give you a plan. It gives you zero direction. Only a vague idea that you need to be doing “something” about your weight.

Without direction you’ll have no focus. No focus means no consistency. No consistency means no results.

You look at the scale, feeling like you’ve been doing everything right, yet your weight is the same.

This feels shitty. The task seems hopeless and you feel trapped. Motivation crushed.

The solution

Break down your goal into its necessary actions.

For example, to lose 50 lbs you have to eat more vegetables, get better sleep, manage your stress, and lift some heavy ass weights.

Now pick one of those things to work on. Let’s say veggies.

Then you come up with a plan to add progressively more veggies to your life each week.

Your focus is now directed to where it ought to be.

Revolve your goals around things you have complete control of, on the actions that drive the desired result.

Judge your progress by the actions you take. In the above example this means that regardless of what the scale says, if you’re eating more veggies, you’re moving forward. If not, you need to figure out what the obstacle is and how to navigate it.

This changes the game. Because the metric by which you’re judging success changes.

You’re now in control. Your emotions are no longer subject to chaos and randomness.

You know that by improving your actions, the results will follow. So you just need to keep improving your actions.

Are you eating more veggies than you ate last week? Did your squat improve? Are you managing your portions and listening to your hunger cues better than last week?

Action = results.

So your attention and focus needs to be on action. The first step to doing this is by setting goals based on action rather than results. These are called process based goals.

For example, your goal is to lose 50 lbs (result) so you say, “I want to improve my eating habits every week (process) with the goal of weight loss.”

You’re not ignoring the end goal. You’re just focusing on what matters: what you need to do right now.

If an online client says they’re down 5 lbs after a weekend of drinking and overeating (which is entirely possible) they aren’t any closer to their goal. Essentially, they lost 5 lbs out of sheer chance.

It had nothing to do with their effort.

Now, if a client says they crushed their workouts or ate more veggies than last week, I’m stoked regardless of what the scale says.

Behaviors are a more accurate measure of progress because they show if the client is actually improving their healthy habits and skills that will lead to long term results.

Building those habits is where the real change happens, not from losing weight on accident.

Set action based goals and judge your progress based on how your actions are improving.

You’ll get better results than you ever have before.

Mistake #3: All-or-nothing thinking

This problem is pretty damn common for anyone tackling weight loss. Though it seems especially prevalent when it comes to resolutions.

“My diet is ruined because I ate 1 cookie, might as well eat the whole bag” is the phrase that comes to mind. This exemplifies the perfectionist, all-or-nothing mentality.

Expecting yourself to do everything perfectly is delusional. You don’t expect this of yourself in literally any other scenario.

By giving yourself only two options, all or nothing, you set yourself up for failure. Because perfection doesn’t exist. Since “all” doesn’t exist, you’re left with “nothing” i.e., failure/quitting.

Think about it this way. If you already had the skills to be perfect at this, wouldn’t you have this sorted by now? Nobody expects to be fluent in a language immediately, or be Michael Jordan the first time they play basketball.

How is fat loss any different?

The solution

Let go of traditional New Year’s Resolution thinking.

You have to suck at something before you can be good at it.

Sucking at something involves lots of mistakes. Accept you’re going to screw up. All the time. And that’s ok. That’s the definition of “sucking at something”.

It’s all part of the process. These mistakes don’t “ruin” your diet. Unless you use them as an excuse to quit entirely.

Change happens bit by bit over a long period of time. You can’t be a new person overnight.

The key is to learn from mistakes, shrug them off, and keep going.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of better.

If you miss a day at the gym, so what?

Just go tomorrow and move on. It’s fine.

You’ll be way better off if you keep going to the gym in some capacity than giving up entirely. Even if it’s just 10 minutes once a week. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

You caved and ate more pizza than you care to admit. Who cares?

No need to feel guilty. No need to justify it with “I earned it” or “it wasn’t that bad because...”. Just accept it wasn’t in line with your goals and do better with your next meal.

Don’t dwell on mistakes. Instead, remind yourself it’s all part of the game. It’s all part of developing the skills and habits necessary to be a healthier, fitter version of yourself.

Give yourself permission to not be amazing at this right away. Don’t take mistakes personally. You’ll find you make less and less of them as you continue working towards your goal(s).

Conclusion

Change won’t happen by sheer force of will. It’ll happen by patiently implemententing an intelligent and progressive long term strategy.

Yeah, I know. It’s not as catchy as, “6 pack abs in 33 days”. But this is how it works. This is the most effective way to lose fat and keep it off for the long term.

You have to be patient. Over time, build up the habits that are in line with your resolution. You won’t do this by trying to change everything at once.

This is why my online clients are so successful and this is how you can be equally as successful in feeling comfortable in your body and getting healthy.

Imagine never having to go on a diet again, never getting stressed out or guilty about what you ate. Imagine looking forward to your workouts because they make you feel strong and confident. Imagine being happy with your body and what it can do.

This is what you have to look forward to by changing your approach to resolutions using the tips in this post.

I’d absolutely love to hear how you’re going to make things different this year. Email me at [email protected] with your goal(s) for 2019 and what steps you’re going to take toward achieving them.

Don’t know the steps? No worries, still email me and I’ll give you some tips.

Bonus! Mistake #4: Going it alone

Humans are social animals. Even people like me who fall quite far from the extrovert end of the spectrum.

We can accomplish more in groups. Despite this very romanticized idea of going it alone that’s so prevalent in the US. Countless songs, movies, books, and TV shows are dedicated to the idea, but it’s all BS.

People need other people. And there’s no shame in doing so. It’s not any less of an accomplishment because you asked for help.

The solution

If you want to accomplish more, you need help. You need at least one person in your corner. We all do.

This could be:

  • A community: A Facebook group, an exercise class, or a meetup.
  • An accountability buddy: A friend or acquaintance who is at about the same place as you goal wise. You could go workout together, or even just check in on each other everyday.
  • A coach: Someone who has helped guide other people in your situation to where you want to go. Someone who can offer accountability, support, and knowledge. To make the task non-threatening, ensure you keep going in the right direction, and take some of the thinking out of it.

The great thing about the internet is that it’s way easier to find people you can relate to. For someone like me who struggles with starting conversations in person, it’s a lot more accessible to reach out to people online.

So there’s no reason not to find someone to help you out. Even if none of your friends are really bothered about their own fitness, or going to a new in person meetup group feels too awkward.

Maybe there aren’t coaches in your area you really click with. Maybe they’re all a bit too broey and too in your face. Not to mention unprofessional.

You don’t feel like they’d actually listen to your concerns or understand where you’re coming from. Because for them, working out is easy. How could they understand what it’s like to not live for exercise and eating broccoli out of tupperware?

If that last paragraph resonates I imagine we’ll get on quite well because you’re probably just like some of my most successful clients. And I’d love to help you cut through the gimmicks and fads to build a resilient fitness habit in 2019. To build a healthy relationship with food where having a flat stomach is easy and the gym no longer feels intimidating.

Do you want to make health and fitness finally click?

Check out my online coaching packages and pick the one that’s best for you.

  1. Online Exercise Coaching For People Who Don’t Like To Exercise - $100/month
  2. No-Diet Nutrition Coaching For Health And Weight Loss - $150/month
  3. Total Online Fat Loss Coaching (packages 1 and 2 combined) - $200/month
  4. Deluxe Fat Loss Coaching For People Who Are Way Too Busy - $450/month

You can apply for a video consultation by clicking the “SIGN ME UP!” button at the bottom of the page or simply email me at [email protected] with the name of the coaching package you’re interested in plus 2 times you’re free to video chat this week.

If you have any questions about how this whole online coaching thing works, you’re not alone. Check out the FAQ page or just email me at [email protected] with your questions.

Oh yeah, you're protected by my 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee. This is completely risk-free. You can try out an entire month of coaching, and THEN decide if it’s right for you.

Here are the links again to check out the different coaching services:

  1. Online Exercise Coaching For People Who Don’t Like To Exercise - $100/month
  2. No-Diet Nutrition Coaching For Health And Weight Loss - $150/month
  3. Total Online Fat Loss Coaching (packages 1 and 2 combined) - $200/month
  4. Deluxe Fat Loss Coaching For People Who Are Way Too Busy - $450/month

To your success :)

Posted on Dec 27, 2018