Are New Year’s Resolutions a Mistake?

It seems like everyone says that you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore, but I’m not sure I agree with that. I still find them helpful. 

Now, some are better than others. You need to make ones that are likely to succeed. And for sure you need to have the skills and tools to follow through. 

But if you can do that, they’re great. And that’s what I talk about in this week’s post: What I do in general and what I’m specifically doing right now to set myself up for a great year. 



  • The keys to making resolutions that work.
  • The relationship between goals and your Inner Game.
  • The core steps to starting the year on a good track. 
  • Listen/read to get the full message.



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3) Check out our podcast, The David Levin Show.


FINISHED: The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo. Wow. Really hard to get into that one. Took me over a week to get going. And still had a hard time keeping track of the different names. Just too foreign. But ultimately did get into it, and finished strong. Couldn’t put it down for the last day or so. 

FINISHED: All Systems Red. Martha Wells. Great new Sci Fi. Loved it from the first page. Short, though. Finished it pretty quickly. 

CURRENT: Starting on the next in the series. Artificial Condition. 

[ transcript ]

Hey, it’s David Levin. Author of Raise Your Inner Game, co-author QBQ, the Question Behind the Question, Founder of Raise Your Inner Game Academy.

We’ll start with a little housekeeping. Raise Your Inner Game ACADEMY for High School Athletes is coming along very well. Momentum is excellent. Planning to have some beta testers starting within the month. Super excited about that project. 

The free Raise Your Inner Game hardcover offer is still available. Free book, free video training, just pay $7 shipping and handling. It’s a great opportunity to get started making just really a huge difference in your life. Go to or to take advantage of that. 

If you haven’t subscribed to our podcast yet, The David Levin Show, would love to have you join us. Get these posts automatically in your podcast player. 

And that is it, so here we go. 

And it’s that time of year again. Resolutions time. 

A lot of people tell you not to make resolutions, and that confuses me a little bit. I guess they say that because we tend to just make them and then break them pretty quickly, which causes sort of a downward spiral. We beat ourselves up for being weak and then are less likely to try other things in the future. And I get that, but I still sort of like them. 

Now, I probably don’t make typical resolutions. I certainly don’t make plans for the whole year. No way to focus on something for that long. 

But I do like looking at where things are, how they’ve been going, and setting some intentions for the coming year. I think that’s helpful. 

Goals, in general, work for me, as long as they’re practical and measurable, and limited. Not just open-ended, like being more healthy. That’s never going to work. It’s too vague. But a good clear goal is super helpful. So my main goal coming up now is, and this is typical and boring, but I need to lose 10-12 pounds. For a bunch of different reasons. 

The biggest thing for me, and weight is just a part of this, is to get my sleep and energy back in line. You might know, I’ve been having sleep issues the last half of this year, and it’s pretty likely that the extra pounds are a big driver of that. I’ve started snoring. Never used to do that. Had a sleep study done, I have moderate sleep apnea, which is frequently weight related. Again, totally new. And I’ve been trying to get used to the CPAP machine to help with that but I’m just not convinced that’s going to fix it, nor that I want it to. Meaning, I am not happy with the idea that I will need to use that thing for the rest of my life. To say the least. 

So if I can go after the extra weight instead and that makes the difference, it’s like a triple win. I will feel a lot better being lighter, my sleep and energy will improve. And all of that will have a massive positive effect on my inner game. 

This sleep thing combined with the weight, has added a real load to my overall gravity situation. It just makes everything harder. If you’ve read the book, that will make total sense. If you haven’t, you should get it. You’ll love it. Anyway, with the coming year, the things I want to get done, and the continued uncertainty in the world, it just feels like I need to be in better inner shape. Sort of like an athlete coming into the regular season. I feel like I need to get into game shape, internally, if that makes sense. It’s like, as the outer world gets noisier and more unsettled, I feel the need to strengthen my inner quiet to compensate for that, to enable me to stay connected and focused in spite of all that. And the CPAP, I’m sure it would help, theoretically, but it still sort of feels like putting a band aid on the problem. 

Penn Jillette, if you know him, from Penn and Teller, comes to mind. He was weighing like 330 pounds at one point, had bad blood pressure problems. On a LOT of meds, and was going to need to stay on them forever. And of course, was still running the risk of it killing him. But one day his doctor said, Or you could just lose 100 pounds. And he was like, Oh. And so he did. Went on a crash diet Medically supervised. Lost over 100 pounds. And then he didn’t need any of the meds anymore. It sort of feels like that. And it’s just a better way to go.

So that’s my main focus coming up at the beginning of this year. 

And I want to say, too, obviously, the health reasons and benefits for doing it are reason enough. But for me, it really ultimately is about my Inner Gravity. I could probably live with the weight gain if everything else felt like I want it to. I don’t love the look, but it’s not terrible, at least not yet. And at my age, you know, it’s not terrible. But my Inner Game situation lately is just not acceptable. It’s too hard to have the focus and energy I want, so that is what’s really driving it.

And I would suggest that that’s a good guide for you, too. The real driver of your productivity and success and happiness is always your Inner Game. So, if you’re able to operate at the level you want, that’s great. Keep doing whatever you’re doing. But if you’re not, you want to address that as directly and forcefully as you can. Your Inner Game is the most important thing, for virtually everything you care about.

One little detail on my weight project. I’m going to be better this time about paying more attention to my waistline than to my weight. I haven’t been good about that in the past, but weight on its own is just not a good indicator. Last Summer I had a great 30-day stretch of exercising every day, and have been pretty consistent with that ever since, so I added a good chunk of muscle mass. Which is great. But my sense of what I should weigh got thrown off, and that sort of threw me off track. I just didn’t know how to gauge what the scale was telling me, so I stopped paying attention. Which is sort of dumb, really, because I mean I was gaining weight. There was no question about that. But it just somehow make it harder to engage with it. 

Anyway, I’ve taken my initial measurement now, and that will be the real goal this time. Smaller waistline. Pants and shirts fitting better. And hopefully hopefully, at some point, fix the sleep problem. But even short of that, I know I will feel a ton better just getting my appetite back in check, getting off carbs – because I always feel better when I do that – and of course, getting back off Coke Zero, too, getting the bad habits in control. 

Part of me dreads it, to be honest, because I know what the struggle feels like. And my lower levels are not at all happy about it. I can tell you that already. I’m hearing from them. But the real me, my Level Four self can’t wait, because I know how much better it feels to be fully on track. 

Anyway, that was an awful lot about me. But I hope some of it is helpful for you, as well. 

Bottom line, I think it’s very helpful to take stock of how things are and to set goals and intentions for what adjustments you want to make, especially when the driver is the quality of your Inner Game, and you have the skills and tools to do it. 

So, kick things off with a 30-day challenge. That’s what I’m doing. There’s nothing like it. Get back on track with your Focused Sitting and Impulse Control. Those are probably the highest leverage behaviors. Track your progress on your Tracking Sheet. I just set up mine for 2019. I have at least 4 years of sheets on file now. Incredibly helpful. And then just start doing it. One day at a time. Really, one Inner Game Moment at a time. Kick gravity’s ass. And feel the difference it makes. 

Those are my New Year’s intentions for myself and I hope you have similar inspring goals for yourself. And I just wish you the best year ever. And I know with the Inner Game skills and tools, you can make it happen. You absolutely can. 

So that is it for this week. Thank you. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year. And I will talk to you next time.