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Why 92% of New Year’s Resolutions Already Failed, and 140 Better Ones

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Almost half of Americans set New Year’s resolutions only 30 days ago, but only 8% are successful. That’s why we publish this list in February instead of January. :)

There are three reasons for this problem:

  1. People make unrealistic resolutions.
  2. People don’t equip themselves with the mental ammunition to fight off doubt and continue with their goals.
  3. Using guilt or fear as motivation, or resolving to stop doing something

To avoid these problems, this post will share 140 realistic ideas for how to become more Bulletproof now, and have some fun along the way. We’ll also explain why your resolutions have probably already been abandoned.

Vague Goals

A review in the American Journal of Heath Promotion found the more specific you make your goal, the more likely you are to succeed.  This is why each one of the ideas listed below is succinct and actionable.  Instead of saying “be healthier”, make a goal to eat on the green side of the Bulletproof Diet at least 6 days a week, or something similar.

Too Many Goals

In his book How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer writes about a study done by Stanford University.  It found when people tried to memorize more information, their willpower suffered.   The more goals the subjects made, the less likely they were to achieve them.  It’s tempting to try everything on this list, but for best results, focus on your top three goals.  You can always do more later, or add a new goal when you achieve one on your short list.

The Wrong Friends

A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found lack of social support increased cortisol, heart rate, and anxiety.  All of these factors weaken your ability to stick to your goals.  In order to succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions, seek support from friends and family, and take breaks.  Mistakes are part of success, so don’t be afraid to make them. If you don’t get support from your friends, your first goal should be to get some new ones.

Guilt, Shame, and Negative Framing

Guilt and shame do not work – in fact they are the biggest hinderance you will face on your quest to become more Bulletproof.  The worse you feel about yourself, the less self efficacy you have, and that of course only makes you ashamed. In this paper,  people who imagined eating cake and felt ashamed about it actually thought the cake would taste better.  If you think about how bad you feel after eating you’ll eat more.

Likewise, students who beat themselves up for putting off studying put off their studying more. It’s the same with addicts. The worse they feel about a minor lapse, the more likely it turns into a major relapse.  More guilt = more problems. There is also “the what the hell effect”.  If you do one thing bad, it avalanches into other ‘bad’ things, especially with food, drinking.  You already ‘sinned’ once, what the hell, why not something else?

The solution to this complex situation in your head is something straight out of some forms of meditation: self-compassion. If you forgive yourself after a transgression with food or something else, you are less likely to make it worse. That’s why there is no “perfect” Bulletproof Diet. You have choices. You can choose something in the yellow category when you could have chosen something green, and you’re still on the diet. You didn’t fail.

This works. In another study, people were given a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses to carry around. Those who got the self compassion message ate 28 grams of candy vs. those that did not get the self-compassion message who ate 70 grams.

To put it into practice, imagine what you’d say to a loved one that had this goal/setback, then say it to yourself. It doesn’t sound Bulletproof, but it builds psychological resilience very well.

Now that you know how to succeed, here are a bunch of (sometimes) fun ways to actually Bulletproof yourself anytime. Having fun is Bulletproof.

  1. Don’t exercise more than twice a week.  It’s unnecessary and maybe even harmful.
  2. Quit smoking without a plan.
  3. Become the next Steve Jobs.
  4. Stop watching T.V.
  5. Only eat raw, or soft cooked egg yolks.  Cooking the yolks oxidizes the fats.
  6. Eat grass-fed meat.
  7. Stop drinking decaf coffee.
  8. Stop forcing yourself to eat lettuce if you don’t like it.
  9. Eat dark chocolate three times a week. (There’s nothing magical about this number, but remember – be specific!)
  10. Use emWave training for at least three minutes daily.
  11. Meditate every day.
  12. Stop clenching and/or grinding your teeth.
  13. Get acupuncture therapy.
  14. Fix your duck feet (or pigeon toes).
  15. Get a massage.
  16. Correct poor vision.
  17. Start lifting weights.
  18. Start eating the Bulletproof Diet in 14 steps.
  19. Spend more time with your family.
  20. Read a book you’ve been wanting to devour.
  21. Learn a new language.
  22. Contact an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  23. Spend less time on your phone.
  24. Answer email once a day.
  25. Hold eye contact during a conversation.
  26. Overcome conversational narcism.
  27. Go on a date.
  28. Start intermittent fasting.
  29. Read to your kids when they ask you to.
  30. Keep your desk clean.
  31. Drink Bulletproof Coffee every morning.
  32. Stop counting calories.
  33. Protect yourself from diet failure.
  34. Eat more animal fat (from grass-finished sources).
  35. Master the mid-day recharge.
  36. Track your sleep with a Zeo Sleep Cycle.
  37. Experiment with smart drugs.
  38. Get blood tests.
  39. Optimize your vitamin D levels.
  40. Listen to more music.
  41. Stop drinking soda.
  42. Play paintball.
  43. Go surfing.
  44. Learn to swim.
  45. Take cold showers (you’ll learn why this is important in a future podcast).
  46. Have sex.
  47. Eat more coconut products.
  48. Master the art of conversation.
  49. Learn how to kayak.
  50. Go sky diving (or hang gliding).
  51. Learn urban escape and evasion.
  52. Remember your friend’s birthdays.
  53. Spend less time on Facebook, and more time with real people.
  54. Shoot a gun.
  55. Hold a spider.
  56. Go hiking.
  57. Cook your own food.
  58. Make a daily to-do list.
  59. Hack your sleep.
  60. Be less judgmental of others.
  61. Work smarter, not harder.
  62. Read Good Calories, Bad Calories (without stopping halfway through).
  63. Learn how to avoid mycotoxins.
  64. End insomnia with an electro-sleep machine.
  65. Open doors for women like a stud.
  66. Learn to speed read.
  67. Hack your nervous system to manage stress.
  68. Learn basic self defense.
  69. Keep you inbox at zero.
  70. Kill jet lag once and for all.
  71. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/earthing/
  72. Stay awake after lunch and lose fat at the same time.
  73. Keep your sperm healthy (guys).
  74. Learn basic survival skills.
  75. Learn the art of public speaking.
  76. Discover the secret to overcoming information overload.
  77. Learn to memorize anything.
  78. Master the perfect your handshake.
  79. http://artofmanliness.com/2011/08/22/manly-handshake/
  80. Get out of debt.
  81. Buy a chest freezer and stock up on food.
  82. Interpret cholesterol tests.
  83. Control your dreams.
  84. Free yourself from lipophobia. (link to podcast w/ Chris)
  85. Stop consuming artificial sweeteners.
  86. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/podcast-15-an-opposing-view-on-artificial-sweeteners-with-james-krieger/
  87. Be easier on yourself.
  88. If you’re an overtrained athlete, take a rest day.
  89. Cure Alzheimer’s with coconut oil and ketones.
  90. Live forever.
  91. Climb a mountain.
  92. Learn to present to an audience in any situation.
  93. Memorize a new and powerful quote.
  94. Start a business.
  95. Invent something amazing.
  96. Consume a healthy information diet (book). (Read a review of this book here)
  97. Correct dementia with proper diet.
  98. Become more self sufficient.
  99. Learn to use your non-dominant hand to do something.
  100. Stop being vegetarian (or vegan).
  101. Heal your scars naturally.
  102. Make peace with someone you’re mad at.
  103. Learn to do the best work of your life.
  104. Be confident like Howard Roark (or a rap star).
  105. Free your inner animal.
  106. Use a standing desk.
  107. Fix your posture.
  108. Find the highest performance coffee in your city.
  109. Sign up to learn when the best chocolate powder and vanilla are ready for order.
  110. Stop running marathons (it’s bad for you).
  111. Get better, faster orgasms.
  112. Increase your IQ.
  113. Give up gluten for a month (or forever).
  114. Cure your acne with self experimentation.
  115. Cure your acne by fixing your gut.
  116. If you’re going to let lose and have a cheat day, do it like Martin Berkhan and slaughter a few Cheesecakes.
  117. Be less offended by small details (especially about dietary dogma).
  118. Don’t let conventional wisdom about food keep you from helping others, especially patients. 
  119. Get up right when your alarm goes off.
  120. Become an early riser.
  121. Sleep in sometimes.
  122. Fight a bear.
  123. Remove fluoride from your water.
  124. Start tracking your biomarkers.
  125. Realize it’s okay not to use soap and shampoo.
  126. Be the only guy in your gym who actually knows how to squat.
  127. Write a book.
  128. Eat beef liver.
  129. Provoke the economy to new levels of growth.
  130. Make Bulletproof Cupcakes.
  131. Learn how to fall asleep four times faster.
  132. Use a whole body vibration plate to increase bone density and lymphatic drainage.
  133. Discuss the best ways to hack yourself on the Bulletproof Forum.
  134. “Get some” action with ice cream.
  135. Find the perfect balance between trusting what you’ve found through self experimentation, and what others think should happen.
  136. Buy gear and books for someone you love.
  137. Get drunk with the least harmful substances. (If you’re going to do it, do it right.)
  138. Implement what you read online instead of just reading it.
  139. Read every post on the bulletproof executive. :)
  140. Follow The Bulletproof Executive on Twitter.

These last two may sound self serving, but we’re about to unleash some of the best content yet.  We’re going to have more interviews, posts, free how-to guides, recipes, and much, much more.  Stick around – it’s going to be epic.

What’s my New Year’s Resolution?  To make you Bulletproof, inside and out.

Happy New Year!

- Dave Asprey and The Bulletproof Executive Team

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  • Instructor

    Owing to one of my side-businesses (Texas Concealed Handgun License Instructor), I’m very interested in why you added #54 (Shoot a gun).

    • Ted

      @ Instructor – He is suggesting you “shoot a gun”. I would think you would agree with that considering you are an instructor. Maybe he should have said, “Shoot a gun under the supervision of an instructor” :)

    • Dave Asprey

      @Instructor and @Ted – I grew up in New Mexico and got my first gun when I was 12. People in big cities often have never touched a gun, much less shot one. The concentration and calmness it takes to squeeze the trigger without jerking in fear is a meditative state, one you can actually hack using the emwave2. Any shooter should be able to improve by increasing their heart rate variability!

    • Jacob Haskins

      Shooting a gun boosts your testosterone production, which in turn does a number of wonderful things for you, like increasing your metabolism and verbal acuity.

    • http://armilegge.com Armistead Legge

      Because it’s fun. AR-15 w/ EoTech Holographic site…

      http://i39.tinypic.com/ephv74.jpg

      • Instructor

        Thank you for keeping your finger off the trigger in that photo (see my response to the Survivalist Magazine cover at http://dfwpreppers.com/2011/06/ )

        • http://armilegge.com Armistead Legge

          Haha, good point. That article is hilarious :)

  • Alexandra Covucci

    I am so excited for what’s to come!

    • Dave Asprey

      I’m glad, me too :)

      • Yoni

        Happy new year Dave and thanks for sharing all this – changed my life and by consequence it’s changing my young sisters life (she has mild autism). What I learned about gluten, fat and so much more has been INVALUABLE to say the least. Thanks & regards from Tel Aviv :)

  • Lmaibes

    How do you stop grinding your teeth?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=538851160 Leon Wurfel
  • jogotyree69

    Dementia — all this time… I had no clue.

  • http://www.ExecuCareARC.com/ Jacquie Damgaard PhD

    When it comes to quitting drinking or drugs, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about giving up a substance, you also need to gain the things that will protect you and help you heal.

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