Listen to the podcast here:
New Year’s Resolutions: What Changes Are You Making?
Here we are. The holidays are over. People are back to work and now we start another year. I can’t believe it. I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year’s and that you spent it with your family and your friends and whoever makes you smile because that’s what the holidays are all about. That’s the best part of the holidays. You get to hang out and spend time with family, especially if your kids are grown like mine and they don’t live with me anymore. This year, we didn’t really go away for the holidays. We stayed in Florida. We actually had some great weather and for all you Northeasters or people who are dealing with snow, you got the white Christmas, but we got the sunshine type Christmas which for me at this point in my life is definitely what I love.
We had people over the house, which I also love because when the kids come over it always turns into game night, which in our house, we are highly competitive. It turns out to be seventeen hours of nonstop games to see who wins the most games out of the night. I think I did pretty good this year so I’m pretty happy about that. Then Christmas ends and it leads up to New Year’s and that’s the point that you really take a step back and think about what happened in the previous year. I feel like it’s reflection time. Before that, you step back and take that time to reflect, to think about what were the things that you committed to accomplishing last year.
I put on my Instagram a message about what I was going to talk about and people responded. They’ll be calling in and sharing with us their New Year’s resolutions for this year. I love hearing from other people to find out what they’re thinking about. What’s the top of their mind for 2019, what are their goals and objectives? How far are they going to actually strive to push themselves? Because everything that I do, my work revolves around pushing people to change behaviors and to share stories about how they have been successful in doing that and what it takes to make it happen. This is a passion of mine and if you need a little push then go to my Instagram, @CarolynRivera14, and DM. I will give you the push you need to get you on the right path for 2019.
Before we talk about 2019, I think it’s important to take a look back and think about what you did in 2018. How was your year? Think of it from a work perspective, a health perspective, family, friends and a financial perspective. Break it down. Many times, I’m working with people and they talk about the challenges that they’re having, but they don’t really look at themselves, at what they’re doing. They don’t look at what’s missing. They get caught up in, “Things aren’t working,” and then they figure out how to rationalize why things aren’t working and that is a vicious cycle. Because we can rationalize anything. I can rationalize with the best of them.
We’ve got to step back and get out of that. You got to dig a little bit deeper to figure out why things aren’t working well. What specifically are you doing to contribute to that issue? It’s sometimes difficult to do. That’s very difficult for most people. We don’t like to look at things that we don’t do well. We don’t like to look at things that caused problems. It’s much easier to blame it on something or someone else. I think about all the things that I wanted to do. The things that I put on my list and reflect back at whether I accomplished them or not. I had about five things on my list and even though these are personal, I thought I would share them with you because how can I ask other people to share if I’m not going to share?
One thing on my list in 2018 was to finish and publish my book. Quite frankly, this has been on my list for a couple of years now. Because years ago, I kept making excuses. I made excuses for, “I just don’t have enough time. I’m working so hard. I’m working long hours. I don’t have time to spend, to put aside and to make time for the book. When you get into that rut, when that happens to you, know that that goal is not top of your list. It must not be that important if you’re able to push it aside. In 2018, to me at that point in my life, it was non-negotiable. I needed to get it done.
I actually finished writing the book in March, but it turns out, there are a lot more steps to the publishing process than you think. It took a few months to get the book cover picture done, to figure out the title and to get everything typeset. There are lots and lots and lots of things that had to be done, but I am so excited and happy to say that I’m a published author. It took so many sleepless nights, but it’s done and I’m very proud of it. The title is Plant Your Flag: The Seven Secrets To Winning and you can find it on my and there’s a sale going on at CarolynJRivera.com. Not to toot my own horn, but I did get feedback that it was a great book, so get your copy.
Another goal that I had was to increase my speaking engagements. What I do is a lot of speaking engagements and I also do training workshops and I do the radio show. I have a lot of things on my plate, but the speaking engagements that I wanted to increase, I did not achieve in 2018 and why again? It was because I was focusing on delivering training and not focusing on those speaking engagements. You have to determine what is important to you and then make it happen. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that later in the show. We have some audience that will share their New Year’s resolutions. The most common New Year’s resolution that so many people have on their list is to get healthy and lose weight. In fact, at this point in time, LA fitness and all the gyms are so crowded. I think the statistic is that people follow through until somewhere in the neighborhood of the third week in January and then things start to drop off. That’s crazy because it’s only two to three weeks, so think about it. We can do better. I have someone with me. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Kristen and I’m from Colorado.
Welcome, Kristen. I am so glad that you joined us. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m 31 and I am a mother of two boys and married to my childhood sweetheart. We met in kindergarten.
How did you stay with the guy that you met in kindergarten?
We started as friends and grew up together and hung out with each other. We dated a little bit in high school and then in our twenties, we found each other again and decided that we were soulmates because we kept coming back to one another. That’s where it all started.
Tell me what is your New Year’s resolution?We don't like to look at things that we don't do well. We don't like to look at things that caused problems. Click To Tweet
Just like everybody out there, I made the resolution to get healthy this year for my family so that I can keep up with my two rambunctious boys and to also fulfill a lifelong dream for me to be on Survivor. I found my faith again and to keep living a life full of peace that I’ve found. It’s helped me in so many ways that I can’t imagine going backwards to where I was. It’s such a peace that I really can’t even explain. It makes the world of difference.
Let’s take them one at a time. As I mentioned before, so many people have put on their lists to get healthy, to lose weight, to go to the gym, all of those things. I’ve had it on my list for ten years. Has that ever been on your list before?
Many times. Just like everybody else I give up right there after a couple weeks because it’s too hard or I don’t have the time or whatever it is and I fall back on the bandwagon.
This is the part of the Carolyn Rivera’s show, the Mama C that pushes people. What exactly are you going to do differently this time?
That’s really been pushing me. I’ve tried out a couple of times now and I feel like maybe my physical appearance was holding me back from being cast because I know that I have what it takes to be on survivor. I watched it since the first season when I was a kid and I know that I could get out there and win that thing. That’s my main push is to be able to fulfill that. To prove to my kids that no matter what you dream, it is achievable as long as you put in the work. That’s to be a role model for my kids. My husband and I are doing it together. I think that helps to have somebody else doing it with you and not doing it by yourself, somebody to motivate you and push with you. If you’re saying, “I don’t want to go to the gym now,” they say, “No, you’re going.” I’ve researched a lot of healthy eating habits and I’ve learned how to fulfill what I needed from food but not eat the unhealthy stuff. I’ve done a lot of research and that will hopefully get me through.
It’s funny because, for years, I would always watch what I eat, but I would eat whatever I want in moderation. Just towards the end of the year, I really started taking a step back and looking at, “What exactly am I eating? I love junk food. I love all the bad stuff. I wasn’t eating a lot of it. I was the 100-calorie count queen. I had every brownie and potato chip thing that was 100 calories because in my mind I would say, “If I only have 100 calories, how bad could it be?” I’m not going over my calories, but honestly, when I made a shift, I was talking to one of my Survivor sisters and she was telling me about how she changed her diet and everything changed. I said, “I’ve never changed my diet.” I changed my diet and I actually eat more now than I did before and I lost five pounds, which is unbelievable.
That’s what I keep hearing too, is that as long as you’re eating the right things, you can have as much of it as you want, as long as it’s the healthy fats and the healthy way of going about it.
Yes, you can eat a little bit more. I wouldn’t say you can have as much as you want, but you can definitely eat what you want. If you have an accountability partner, that is step one. That’s fabulous. Make sure your accountability partner is just as driven as you are to make that goal happen because that’s the only way that you will make it happen. We were talking about the changes that you’re going to make. You’re going to get different eating habits. You’re going to focus on healthy living. Those are the things that are going to help you. I think that what will help you even more is having the motivation to do it. You have to want it more than anything else. It took me two years to write my book and the first year when I started writing it, I put it down several times because at that point in my life it wasn’t a must. The only things we focus on are those that we call the musts. The must-have, the things that are so important that you make time to make it happen. The first goal is to have a healthier life for your kids and for potentially your second goal, which is Survivor. Is there anything else that you wanted to share about that first goal?
You have to go for it and not give up because if you give up, you lose. If I’m going to make my life better and healthier, then I can’t give up. I have to keep going.
You had mentioned that you tried out for Survivor a couple of times. What did you do?
I went to an open casting call first which was completely nerve-wracking and I probably made a complete fool of myself. I made some really good Survivor friends. We still all talk. It was a great experience.
How long did you wait on the line?
It was two hours that I waited. I was pretty close to the front. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait as long as some people, but it still was quite a wait. I got there pretty early.
You went to the open casting, why do you think it was a bum?It's hard enough to change ourselves, trying to change other people is going to be that much more difficult. Click To Tweet
I was so nervous. I actually was not nervous at all going up there, but the second they handed me the microphone and told me everything, “We’re going waive to you when you have about 30 seconds left and then we’ll put our hand up when you have about ten.” I think I anticipated the hand coming faster than what it was. I talked really fast and ended before I said anything I wanted to say.
I also went to one open casting call before I actually got on the show and it was a total disaster except unlike you, I waited five hours in line. I made friends, but we didn’t keep in touch or anything like that because I went to New Jersey. I flew to my girlfriend’s house and we went together. She came on the line with me just to keep me company. I think it was like that. One minute they give you to tell all about yourself. You would after five hours of waiting in the line, have something planned in your head. I didn’t have anything planned in my head.
I actually went to the bathroom when they started letting everybody in to practice my speech in the mirror and I still totally bummed it.
Don’t give up. What have you done since then?
I sent in two video applications. I don’t have this great edited video that everybody sends in, but that’s not who I am. I kept it as real as possible.
Making an edited video and paying $500 for a videographer to do the video, that’s not what they’re looking for. They can see right away that that is edited. They want to see raw footage. They want to see who you are. They want to see what you’re all about.
It was definitely raw. I had my kids jumping on me and it was definitely chaotic, but I tried my best.
When was the last time you sent one in?
The last time I sent one in I believe was August and that was one with basically me doing a more condensed version, maybe trying something a little bit different than they’ve seen and then at the end, I had my two adorable boys wearing their Survivor buff telling them to pick me.
Sometimes you got to bring in the kids. What Survivor buffs were they wearing?
I have the 30th edition and the 35th edition.
Yes, my favorite season.
Which buff?Some people want to run a mile when they've never even run a block. Click To Tweet
It’s like all of them together from Season 1 to 30, but Season 30 was definitely my favorite. I loved all the drama from the first Tribal Council. Then, of course, you just had a room for Mike when they started all trying to come after him and he kept winning challenges that he needs to do. This was a very entertaining season.
You said you found peace and now you’re living a life of peace. What specifically are you doing to ensure that you don’t stop doing that as well?
Just a little bit about it. I had a rough start to my life. I was adopted. My parents divorced, my mom’s crazy to put it nicely and then my youngest son, he was diagnosed with a thing called VACTERL and was in the NICU for eight months and died on me eighteen times. I lived in a life of worry and fear and anger and all of that. I found a piece of calm and to realize that with my faith that I can never fix everything. I can’t help other people or other situations, but I can continue with that and knowing that I’m going to be okay and it’s really helped me grow as a person.
You got to focus on yourself. You can’t change other people. It’s hard enough to change ourselves. Trying to change other people is going to be that much more difficult. You’ve got some great New Year’s resolutions. They sound fabulous. Stick with it and hopefully, you’ll call in six months and tell me that you have achieved these goals. That you’re still on track. That’s what it’s all about. Kristen, thank you so much for calling in. It was a pleasure talking to you.
Thank you for having me.
We have another caller on the line. Welcome to the show. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Mike Brodsky from Orlando, Florida.
Mike, how are you? I’m so glad that you are here.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me on.
I know Mike from business in Orlando. Tell our audience a little bit about yourself.
I work as a financial advisor and I’m also the author of the book Incremental Improvements: Change Your Life One Small Step at a Time. The subject of the book ties into this New Year’s resolution discussion.
We’ve been talking about New Year’s resolutions and statistics show that people give up on them sometimes even before February which is scary.
One of the things that I’d heard was 80% of all New Year’s resolutions are basically done by Groundhog Day. The fact that you’re talking about this and giving some people some ideas about ways to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, it’s just a great topic for discussion.
Your book called Incremental Improvements, it focuses on breaking it down so that you can make things happen. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about what people can do because sometimes they have these lofty goals and they don’t even know where to start?
That’s really the point. A lot of times people will come up with these New Year’s resolutions that sometimes are just a little bit too big. I think what’s important is to get people thinking smaller sometimes. People will come up with New Year’s resolutions like they want to lose twenty pounds. They want to be a millionaire. They want to run a marathon and that’s great, but if you’ve been a couch potato all your life, you’re not going to all of a sudden run a marathon. You got to maybe start by jogging around the block. If you want to become a millionaire, how about figuring out a way to start saving $25 a week into your 401(k) or starting to save a little bit at a time? For somebody who wants to lose a bunch of weight, your last guest had some great ideas about starting to think about ways to eat a little bit healthier, cutting a few calories out of the diet and improving some of the foods that you’re eating. Rather than worrying about the big ultimate goal, instead of worrying about the New Year’s resolution, maybe think of it more like a New Day’s resolution. What am I going to do now? What small little step am I going to take to make a little change in my lifestyle that’s going to get me a little bit closer to that ultimate goal? It’s thinking smaller.
It’s funny because nobody likes to think small. You don’t wake up and say, “I’m going to think small now.” Those small steps helped to create the big goal. To point you in the direction of achieving what you really are setting out to do, but you’re taking it in bite-sized chunks so that you can see some success. What have you found in terms of success is seeing those wins?
You mentioned this, trying to figure out what is it that’s something that’s important to you, something that you really want to accomplish. You were working on your book. It wasn’t like you sat down and then hours later, all of a sudden, “Here’s a book.” This is a process as you described, it took two years for you to work on your book. It’s the same for anybody that’s working on a longer-term goal. Think about what small steps can you take. It should be this sort of thing where you can actually do it on a day-to-day basis. It can be a very subtle change to your behavior. Almost a small imperceptible change that you don’t even notice that you’re doing it, but something that you’re willing to commit to just to take that action. That’s going to get you one step closer to that ultimate goal. If you keep doing that over a period of time, before you know it, you’ve achieved the goal or gotten a lot closer to it.
Especially these days when people are heading to the gym. How do you make yourself go to the gym? You wake up a little earlier and you pack your bag ahead of time.
I think people need to figure out as you described. Everyone is getting these gym memberships, but then three weeks later, they’d given up and they stopped going. What you really have to do is make that commitment that you’re going to go to either go to the gym every day or for some people, they just do some workout at home, but make that commitment. You’re going to spend whatever amount of time it is, even if you’re starting with five to ten or fifteen minutes a day and then you’re working your way up to maybe 30 minutes a day. Something that you’re willing to schedule and do it on a regular basis.Something is better than nothing. Click To Tweet
Every day, set your alarm clock and the first thing you do before you do anything else is maybe to hit the gym or do your workout, get it out of the way and then go on with the rest of your day. Then you don’t have to worry about that excuse of, “I don’t have the time. I don’t have the time to hit the gym. I don’t have the time to work out.” Just do it and get it done. Make that commitment and make it a habit. It really has to become a habit. That’s the most important thing is changing these behaviors so they become a habit and then once you get used to it after a period of a month or two, it becomes routine. You’re used to doing it and it’s part of your life. Before you know it, you’ve made that change.
It becomes your new routine. That’s the thing, because some people, they want to run a mile but they’ve never run a block. In their mind, this mile seems so far away, like going to the gym even. How am I going to be able to work out for an hour? Start with five minutes. Start with walking on the treadmill for five minutes and it’s better than not doing anything.
Something is better than nothing, absolutely. One of the things that we talk about in the book is this concept of trying to figure out what changes you’re willing to make and something that’s not going to be terribly difficult. Thinking about these changes and not just for you to make your own life a little bit better. One of the things I talk about in the book is this whole concept of what one thing can I do now to make my own life a little bit better, to make someone else’s life a little bit better and also to make the world a little bit better? Yes, it’s important to think about these goals that you’re setting for yourself, but also thinking about the impact that you can have on the world by making small changes. When we talk about how do you change the world? It can be as simple as starting to recycle on a more consistent basis and things like that.
My daughter lives in St. Pete and in St. Pete, they’ve taken the straws out of the restaurants. When you water a soda or a drink or whatever it is, you’re not going to get a straw unless you specifically ask for it. Then if you ask for it, they give you this dirty look like, “Really?” Aren’t you helping the environment or are you just going to be one of them? I actually bought these rubber straws that I carry in my purse so that I don’t have to get those dirty looks because I liked the straw. I like to use a straw. I’m going to use rubber straws and not the plastic ones and ruin the environment. It’s baby steps, but that one change helps so many other things. I know that you are giving a free eBook. If you want Mike’s free eBook, go type in IncrementalImprovements.com. Get your free eBook and start breaking down your New Year’s resolution into those bite-sized chunks so you can achieve the goals that you put on your plate. I want to thank you for joining us, Mike. It was a pleasure talking to you.
We had Mike Brodsky and he is the author of Incremental Improvements. When you think about what he talked about, it’s breaking things down to make things happen. Again, we don’t like to look at things from a smaller perspective, but when you think of things too big, it becomes overwhelming. The biggest challenge that we have is that we want things immediately. If you want to lose weight and we want to get on the scale, we want to see that we lost ten pounds right away because we ate healthy for one day. The problem is that it takes time. The action steps that you take should be providing you with some progress along the way towards that goal.
Mike talked about breaking down the goal into bite-sized chunks and that is so important because if we don’t, we’re not going to see any progress and then we’ll give up. That’s definitely not what we want to do. It’s important to celebrate those baby steps. In the weight example, if you feel good about seeing any weight loss, you’re going to take the time and maybe change the habits, but you got to give it time. More importantly, you got to take that first step. You must take action because you can will it to happen, but it’s never going to happen. You have to actually make it happen. You got to do things differently.
When you think about it, another reason that people give up on their New Year’s resolution is that they don’t keep track of the actions that they take and they don’t determine whether those specific actions are working. Let’s continue with that weight loss example because, on some level, most can relate. You’ve probably sometime in your life have wanted to lose a few pounds. Let’s say you do change your diet. Kristen said that she was going to change her diet and eat healthier and you go out and you decide, “The only thing that I’m going to eat is salads.” That sounds good. It sounds like, “You should be seeing some results.” Not so fast because I used to think the same thing, but that’s not enough. You have to understand the type of salad that you’re eating. Not all salads are alike.
You can change your diet and you can eat only salads, but if your salads have croutons and they have nuts. They have pieces of fried chicken, they have creamy ranch dressing, guess what’s not going to happen? Those salads are not healthy. Those salads may have more calories than a steak. I think what people forget about is when they’re making their New Year’s resolutions, when they’re setting their goals at the beginning of the year, you have to remember that you need to measure the actions that you take to make sure they’re working. Because without that measurement, you won’t know or you won’t really figure out why things aren’t working. Why you’re not seeing the results. In sticking with this same example, the one thing that you could do if you’re trying to lose weight would be to keep track of the number of calories that you’re eating by using an app on your phone. There are so many options for you to choose from. My personal preference is My Fitness Pal and it’s an app. It’s my go-to app on the phone that helps keep track of the calories that you’re taking in.
This app, you can actually type in a restaurant with a meal that’s on their menu and most of those will show up or they’ll give you something similar. Keeping track of what you eat will help you see success. Not only do you have to chunk things out into bite-sized chunks, you’ve got to also measure the effectiveness. If you say, “I want to lose weight. I stepped on the scale yesterday, it’s 100 pounds and now, I want it to be less than that, but I had a piece of cheesecake.” That’s not going to give you the results. You have to count your calories, you have to go to the gym and you have to figure out how many calories you’re burning. Then when you step on the scale of the following day, you may see what you want to see.
Your New Year’s resolutions are your goals for the year because that’s what these New Year’s resolutions are. They are goals for the year, so to help you achieve those goals for the year, bite-sized chunks and measure the actions that you’re doing. If you don’t see results because you took no action, that’s one thing. If you don’t see results with the actions that you’re taking, then you may need to either see why that’s not working or change the action. We talked about our New Year’s resolutions, which basically are our goals that you’re setting for yourself in 2019.
Make them smart goals and make them specific. You have to be specific in your goal. You have to understand exactly what you want to achieve. It’s almost like being able to see that vision of what success looks like in your mind. It’s like having an out of body experience where you can actually see yourself succeeding in that goal. That goal has to be super important to you. If it’s not, you are not going to spend the time and make the commitment necessary to make it happen. We talked about making them measurable. How will you know if you achieve the goal if it’s not measurable? You have to be able to measure your success. Your goals need to be attainable.
It’s like what Mike was talking about when some people say, “Tomorrow my goal for the end of 2019 is I want to be a millionaire.” Don’t we? We all want to be a millionaire. If you’re not close to achieving that right this second, the chances of getting to that level in such a short period of time are slim. Set a goal that is attainable and you don’t want it too easy, but you don’t want it too hard because what’s the point of setting a goal that you can never achieve? That’s going to make you depressed and not make you want to follow through on it anyway. Set realistic goals, things that are attainable. Don’t set a goal for yourself that you know you can never achieve.
The other thing that you want to think about is when you’re thinking about your goals, you want to make them relative. How you see yourself, where do you want to be in five years? Have a picture in your mind of what that looks like because you want the goal to be linked to where you want to end up. You don’t have somebody else’s goal. There are more tips on creating this vision, these realistic goals in my book, Plant Your Flag: The Seven Secrets to Winning. You can purchase that on my website at www.CarolynJRivera.com.
The show is all about you, the readers. Follow me on Instagram @CarolynRivera14. My passion is all about helping people succeed. I’m available for speaking engagements. I do customized training for associations, companies or whatever. The bottom line is I’m focusing on the most valuable resource, which is all of you out there. Dial me up, call me, CarolynJRivera.com. Send me a message. I would love to work with you because helping people achieve more than they ever thought possible is what I’m all about and that my friends, is the secret sauce to winning.