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When January creeps to a close, it’s time to take stock of all those New Year’s Resolutions and goals we set three weeks ago.

We want to make sure we’re failing at them, right?

So let’s dive into it.

New Year's Resolutions are all the rage this time of year, so here are 5 foolproof ways to sabotage your best year ever and spend 2019 feeling miserable.

Never Use Your Gym Membership

One great way sabotage what could otherwise be your best year ever is to purchase that gym membership early on and then never use it. After all, that’s how the gyms make their money!

They’re banking on people like you resolving to get in shape and then realizing how hard it is, ashamed to cancel your membership after a scant few weeks of lying to yourself that you’ll finally go this weekend.

Why You Shouldn’t Actually Do This

Gym memberships are tricky.

If you end up purchasing one, make sure you read the contract for the cancellation policy. Many gyms won’t let you just walk in and say you want to cancel; they’ll require a letter physically signed and sent, and if it’s not, they contractually have the right to keep deducting the monthly fee from your bank account.

Don’t be that person.

I had a gym membership when I lived in Eastern Washington and when it was time to cancel, I made double-triple-extra sure that I had it in writing that my membership was canceled and they were not allowed to deduct any more fees from my account.

That all being said, in 2019 I joined a rock climbing gym, which is cheaper than an ‘everything-gym’ and one that I’m more likely to attend, considering one of my goals for 2019 is to build a more active lifestyle and I LOVE rock climbing.

Ignore Your Finances

Bills are scary.

Those previously mentioned recurring gym memberships that you don’t use are equally scary.

So why not just bury your head in the sand and forget all about them? There’s no real need to do this whole “budgeting” thing, is there?

Somewhere, somehow, sometime, it’ll all work out.

If you don’t see the bills they don’t exist, right?

Why You Shouldn’t Actually Do This

Finances can cause that pit of anxiety in your stomach. So don’t actually ignore any bills. You’ll end up in collections, with the electricity and water shut off, pretty much living in squalor because “bills are scary.”

The best way to combat this is by figuring out how much you spend and accounting for all your income. If the difference is negative, you’re (1) spending too much and (2) not earning enough for your current spending habits!

The process to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is difficult, but 100% worth it for your peace of mind and financial security.

Don’t Take Breaks

You’ve committed to those goals, haven’t you? So why do you think you should get to take a break from working on them?

You should spend every single free moment working on either your job or your personal goals.

Never take the time to relax or let your body recover from the breakneck pace that most people adopt in the first month of the year. Every minute you take for yourself is a minute of progress lost on all the projects you’re completing.

Burnout isn’t real, overwhelm is a myth, and you should just stop worrying about that weird pain in your back that wasn’t there before.

It’s all in your head.

Why You Shouldn’t Actually Do This

Self-care, rest, relaxation, and recuperation are essential to come back better and more focused than before.

Why do athletes take rest days?

Because their bodies need time to recover from the strain put on their muscles! Without that recovery time, they are perpetually exhausted and exhausted athletes don’t win competitions.

It’s no different for the rest of us.

Working without breaks is tantamount to torture and highly unhealthy for everyone who does it.

In fact, it can cause physical health problems, as it did to Demir and Carey Bentley of Lifehack Bootcamp. They both developed serious stress illnesses that would have killed them if they didn’t slow down, take breaks, and eventually shift career gears to what they do now.

Exercise is a form of self-care, too. Taking care of your body also means making sure it’s strong and healthy, and exercise is a great way to do that.

My “self-care” times are Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Sunday mid-morning to early afternoon. I generally schedule chiropractic adjustments and massages on Tuesdays, and I go rock climbing on Thursdays and Sundays. I also go to church and Bible study, which are forms of spiritual self-care.

Having a self-care schedule is important too, so you don’t forget to get some in.

New Year's Resolutions are all the rage this time of year, so here are 5 foolproof ways to sabotage your best year ever and spend 2019 feeling miserable.

Do It All Yourself

You don’t need help. You’re a one-man or one-woman show, and nobody but you knows how to do all the things you do.

You have to control every tiny detail and don’t need anyone’s opinions or help with juggling ten different plates that are all spinning faster than you can even see them.

If you realize you can’t do something yourself, that just means there’s something wrong with you and you need to drop everything to figure it out.

Don’t bother letting anyone else do it; if you don’t do it yourself, you’re a failure.

Why You Shouldn’t Actually Do This

There’s a reason humans aren’t all clones of each other.

We were all made for different things, are good at different things, and enjoy different things. If we were all Bill Gates, none of us would be rich because the standard is uniform.

If you’re not good at spelling, proofreading, or editing your own work, then it doesn’t make you a failure to hire someone else to do it.

It makes you smart.

If you’ve got a creative personality and get confused by all the small, logistical details of running a business or keeping your life in order, then it doesn’t make you a failure to ask for help to figure things out. Maybe you just need a friend to check in on you to keep you on track.

One of the best examples of this is the spotter in weight lifting.

When you get to where you can’t lift the weight back onto the rack, you absolutely need the spotter to grab it for you and keep you from getting crushed under its weight.

Literally… Crushed under its weight.

It’s the same for anything else we do that we need help with but don’t want to actually get help with it!

We get crushed under the weight of things we need not be crushed by, all because of pride.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help or accountability.

Eat Crap All the Time

Life is short, so eat that doughnut. Or two. Actually, just take the entire box back to your desk.

No one will notice.

When you get home, pizza, Doritos, and beer are perfectly acceptable meal choices. One time won’t hurt. You’ll start that diet on Monday, anyway, except if today is Monday.

Then you’ll start it next Monday.

Never buy vegetables, always order extra fries, and of course you’re going to get dessert. Food is meant to be enjoyed, after all! Why would restaurants have a dessert menu if it didn’t taste good?

Why You Shouldn’t Actually Do This

When you eat like crap, you feel like crap. Feeling like crap means you’re more likely to let your exercise schedule languish, your to-do list undone, and you’ll probably be in a perpetual mental fog of UGH.

I’m not suggesting you drop everything and become a vegan.

  • Just start by cutting out that daily (or multiple daily) can(s) of soda.
  • Politely decline to order dessert.
  • Don’t buy the bag of Doritos.
  • Ask your spouse or a friend to help you come up with a meal plan.
  • Meal prep one day a week so you’re not coming home on Thursday night, realizing you don’t have anything to eat, and ordering Chinese takeout.

For those who are more committed to changing their food lifestyle, look into lower-carb diets like keto, or cleaner eating like Paleo and Whole30.

Incorporate intermittent fasting to seize the whole benefit of autophagy and insulin regulation. Even if you eat like crap, eating for a 6-8 hour window is better than grazing all day and never letting your body take a breather.


New Year's Resolutions are all the rage this time of year, so here are 5 foolproof ways to sabotage your best year ever and spend 2019 feeling miserable.

It All Comes Down to Choice

Nobody is forcing you to avoid the gym, ignore your finances, work without taking breaks or scheduling self-care, never ask for help, or eat like crap.

The only person in control of all these things is you.

Having your worst year ever is the result of choices that you make. But on the flip side, so is having your best year ever.

Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School talks about this in her podcast: your thoughts control your feelings, and your feelings influence your actions.

If you think your year is going to suck, you’ll feel that way, and then all the actions you take during the year will contribute toward that belief that your year is actually going to suck.

But if you flip that switch of thought in your brain and start to believe that this year can really be your best year ever, you’ll start to feel better about it and take the actions necessary to make it a reality.

Take Time to Figure it Out

I started 2019 strong because I got clear on my goals during the last month of 2018. That clarity helped me fine-tune my thoughts and beliefs that I can actually accomplish all the goals I’ve set for myself, and those thoughts turn into good feelings that assist me in taking action that, while sometimes scary, is exactly what I need to have my best year ever instead of sabotaging it.

Those thoughts and feelings drive my actions towards achieving a healthy weight. I log my food, have made a commitment to use my work building’s gym post-work 1-3 times a week and rock climb twice a week—and maybe more once I have the membership.

Those thoughts and feelings drive my actions towards earning $12,000 in side-income. I’ve put myself out there to build relationships and pitch to potential clients, resulting in some “Yes”-es that I didn’t actually expect but am nonetheless extremely excited to pursue and work with these people.

Those thoughts and feelings drive my actions towards finishing and publishing my book. I have word-count goals, a plot outline, and a schedule to finish editing before reaching out for help from professionals to professionally edit and proofread and create a cover before launching on Amazon.

You could do so many things this year that sabotage your chances of success, or you could choose to make this your absolute best year ever.

What’s your choice?

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About the author 


Life coach, author, engineer, and host of the podcast This is Type 1: Real Life with Type 1 Diabetes. I teach T1Ds how to feel better without changing how they manage it.

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  1. I am good with everything but the food. Finally realized it is time to do this for me. Down 30 pounds so far. Maintaining for the winter and hope to continue more lose come spring.

  2. It really does come down to choices. To succeed, you have to make the right choice, even if it is not the easy choice. I’d like to finally lose those last 10 pounds this year, but unless I get serious about meal planning and eating healthy, I know I am destined to fail.

  3. Great reminders, especially a few weeks in to the new year! I shared a bit about self care too in my article 10 Ways to Make Your Soul Breathe. I found I needed to remind myself of the things that give me life. Now I need to make them happen ?

  4. You got me Colleen! Taking breaks and doing it all myself are two things that I am still doing… I need to relax and get the help I need for certain projects ao I don’t burn out this early in the year.

  5. Colleen, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! As 2018 came to a close I found myself re-evaluating my commitments. Additionally creating a plan of action to help me work smarter not harder. In between focusing on self-care. When I read the part about gym memberships it reminded me of when I had that exact experience. Canceled my membership but the payments continued to be withdrawn from my
    bank account. I have a treadmill at home and have found many other ways to exercise without the gym membership! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips for ‘what not to do’ if we want to live our best year ever.

  6. I am one of those people who joined the gym in the new year. I had been a member of a gym before, and had been thinking of it for a long time. There was a great deal at the beginning of the year. What really tipped my decision into joining was that my health insurance actually reimburses memberships!

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