Resolutions Mashup

Podcast Episode #378: Resolutions Mashup

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 2 Comments

Resolutions MashupTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:46]
    1. The Body Awareness Project
    2. Diane's book tour
  2. Episode 223: The Four Tendencies and resolutions [3:13]
  3. Episode 274: The four types of resolutions people make [29:16]
  4. Episode 328: Resolutions and sleep [51:46]

Balanced Bites Master Class  

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The Reason Your New Year's Resolution Failed– and the resolution you should have picked instead

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Resolutions Mashup Resolutions Mashup Resolutions Mashup

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 378.

Liz Wolfe: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a lake in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

I’m the co-creator of the Balanced Bites Master Class, with my podcast partner in crime, Diane. And together we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 7 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram or Facebook accounts for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Perfect Keto. Dr. Anthony Gustin and his teams have created a line of supplements that are super clean and effective, no matter what your dietary needs. I’ve been blending their MCT oil powder into my matcha latte lately. Not only are MCTs; medium chain triglycerides; a premium source of your body’s preferred type of energy, and help to fuel your brain and body, but there’s also no added taste. It makes your coffee or matcha wonderfully creamy. Check them out at and use the code BALANCED for 20% off at Perfect Keto; and their sister site, Equip Foods.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:46]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, friends. Just a couple of quick updates. Want to remind everybody about the Body Awareness Project. Diane and I have both been involved with this project. And the founder of the project, Emily Schromm, will be on the Balanced Bites podcast at some point very soon. It’s always an awesome interview when we get to talk to Emily.

Again, make sure you're checking out the Body Awareness Project. Both Diane and myself are really proud of our contributions, and we know that you're going to love it.

One update for Diane; we’ve got more tour dates and cities announced. So you can go to for all the details and to RSVP for Diane’s latest book tour. The tour kicks off on January 3rd. And cities are San Francisco, then Orange County in California. Boca Raton, Florida. Dallas and Houston in Texas. Then back to California for a Los Angeles signing. Then Seattle, Washington. Portland, Oregon. Washington D.C. Charlotte, North Carolina. Las Vegas, Nevada. Denver, Colorado. And then Kansas City with me. And then, of course, Phoenix, Arizona.

So today we’re doing another mashup episode. Since you all seemed to really like the last one. Today we’re going to be sharing about a hot topic this time of year; New Years’ Resolutions. So like before, we’re going to give a highlight from three past episodes on the topic. But of course, we really encourage you to go back and listen to the full episodes as well.

2. Episode 223: The Four Tendencies and Resolutions [3:13]

First up is episode 223, where we talk about Gretchen Rubin and her Four Tendencies in relation to resolutions, and whether or not they’re worth it. And funny story; I actually remember, for some odd reason, where I was when we recorded this episode. Which is too funny, because it is more than 100 episodes ago. Too, too funny. Enjoy this one.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so this week we’re talking a little bit about resolutions. And Diane, you asked the question on Instagram; do you want to just let everybody know what we’re talking about and what you asked?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So I posted over there, and this is kind of just on the heels of a lot of questions and submissions we get around this time of year when it comes to new diets or workout plans, etc., and I just asked, do you make resolutions? And wanted to know what questions or topics related to that y’all wanted to hear. Hopefully we’re going to discuss some of these topics in a pretty balanced way back and forth.

For those of you who did not get to hear episode 217 of the Balanced Bites podcast, my interview with Gretchen Rubin, I highly, highly, highly recommend you go back and listen to that one. Because a good amount of what I’m going to talk about in terms of the ways that those of you who are unsure of how to get yourself to do something or stick to something that you want to do. If you’re unsure about that, I think that her work in Better Than Before, about our habits and how we handle expectations is so helpful; so illuminating.

It’s something that; Liz and I were talking about this just before we got into the show, but I think the reason I stumbled across; and obviously we were on the show, but the reason Gretchen’s work was interesting to me when I found it was that I’ve been trying to figure out how to get myself to do things. And I know people are like; “but you’re so productive.” Well, it doesn’t feel that way because it feels unfocused or it feels like; I don’t even know how things got done half the time, because I’m like, what? How did that happen? I don’t do well with deadlines or making myself deadlines. I just don’t do well with any of it. And it’s been frustrating for me, but learning from Gretchen about why I am that way has helped me a ton and I feel like I’m getting more focused on figuring out how to get myself to do more things that I want to do as we approach the New Year. And even right now.

So I just want to run down really quickly a couple of the concepts from what she talks about, for those of you who haven’t heard that. I think this way we can get a little bit of grounding when we discuss why some people are the way they are. But she talks about 4 different tendencies, and I just love this because it’s like nutrition, and exercise, and being healthier is probably one of the biggest areas where this applies. So I think the stuff that we talk about, it’s just super relevant.

So there are 4 different categories of people that she puts y’all, or us all into. Upholders are people who readily meet outside and inside expectations. So you decide you’re going to do something, you do it. You just uphold all of that; or if someone else expect something of you, and you are there. You deliver, no big deal. You’re also really good rule followers.

So, an amazing example of this; yesterday, or no, a couple of days ago we were leaving a casino here in Las Vegas, and there were two sets of doors. And they led to the same place, and as we entered the casino, I saw these doors that were supposed to be directing traffic in and out of the building, and it just was like, enter here, do not enter over here. And it was taking you to the same place, right. So as we’re leaving the casino, we approach these same doors, and the ones that say “do not enter” are closer to us, and the ones that we’re supposed to go through are not as close. I’m headed straight for the ones that say “do not enter” because I think they were actually ajar, like one of them was open and other one wasn’t.

And I was headed straight for them {laughs} and Scott’s going to the side that says, like it’s ok to go through. I was like, dude, these go to the same place. And he was like, oh I thought we weren’t supposed to go through that. And I was laughing, because I’m like, you’re such an Upholder! {laughs} I’m like, who cares which doors we go through. I was just; it was just amazing. So anyway, that’s an Upholder. If you’re one of those people who loves to play by the rules, and you like to uphold the rules, and you want a gold star for sticking to them and complying, then that’s you.

Obligers are people who are really good at meeting outside expectations but not so good at meeting their own inside expectations. So you have deadlines, work deadlines, you have somebody waiting for you at the gym to get there, somebody who is your coach or nutritionist who is expecting you to fill out your food journal and all of these different things; that is an Obliger. Somebody who works really well with outside expectations, not so well with their inside expectations.

Questioners are people who really only work well with their own inner expectations, because they need to sort of question everything and run it by their own filter. Does this make sense? If it makes sense to me then I will do it, but if it doesn’t make sense to me then I won’t do it. Or I’ll keep asking questions for more information as to why I should. Why should I do this? That one is really interesting. {laughs} I find those people the most difficult to deal with, but that is a separate category.

So most people fall into either Obliger or Questioner, and then the last category are Rebels. And Rebels just kind of brush off outside and inside expectations, and I am a Rebel. It’s really annoying. I find it very frustrating {laughs}. But what we respond best to, which I find so fascinating, is freedom and choice and a strong sense of, “does doing this thing, does complying with this thing, help me to be more of the person I think I am or I want to be?”

And I’m like, ok that’s totally me. That is why, when I really want to set my mind to something and I do it, it’s not because someone expects it of me or I even expect it of myself, it’s because I want to be this type of person who does this or is this. And so I do that thing, because I don’t want people to come into my house and it’s messy, so I clean up before people come over because I don’t want to be someone that when you come over, it’s totally messy. But it’s not because you expect it to be clean, it’s not because I expect it to be clean. It’s just sort of this sense of self that I think; I don’t know, I want to identify as.

So, anyway, I think all of that is really fascinating. And I think when you hear that, it’s really easy for people to think, “Oh, it would be better if I’m this other one. Like, I wish I was this other way, and maybe I can be more this way,” and it’s not like that. We all just have to find out which we are and kind of work with it to get the best results from ourselves. So I think that’s what really makes sense, when we look at this idea of resolution.

And when I asked the question, “Do you make resolutions?” some of you guys were like, poo-pooing the idea of resolutions. Right? Saying, “Oh, I don’t make resolutions. I just do XYZ every day,” As if that’s better, and some of you were like, “yes, I make a resolution, I think of it as a positive thing. I don’t say, I’m not going to do this; I just say I’m going to do this” and you look at it really positively.

I just want you guys to know, I didn’t ask that to probe and provoke people to say, “No, resolutions are stupid.” I don’t have any issue {laughs} with resolutions. I think the New Year is a good time to make changes. It’s so natural that there is something; we start a new year. It’s a signal and a symbol for everyone that there’s a chance to turn over a new leaf. We’re writing a new year on our checks, or whatever it is that we’re writing the date on. Facebook gave you your memories update from last year, so you could put that year behind you {laughs}. I just think it’s ok, this is a natural symbol of starting anew and something fresh.

And also for a lot of people, the holiday season brings a lot of unique challenges that we don’t have the rest of the year. Whether it’s holiday parties and lots of food you wouldn’t normally have, whether it’s travel and struggling with food or exercise; whether it’s family and friends around a lot, extra parties. It’s one to two months of just kind of, I don’t know, an upheaval of your normal routine for a lot of people. So I think it makes sense that in the New Year, we want to start anew. So I don’t really have a problem with that. What’s kind of your general feeling on it Liz? This whole idea of resolutions?

Liz Wolfe: I definitely have in the past poo-pooed the idea of resolutions, because I always felt like; well gosh, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. You can make changes any time of year. But I think I was more, now that I think about it, poo-pooing the mindset where, and of course this is, duh, it’s all about the mindset you bring to it. But I think a lot of people do go into this New Years’ Resolution not so much as an opportunity and a great time to make some changes, like you’re talking about, but they’ll come into with; “ok, I’ve sucked so hard last year, I’m the worst, I’m going to fix myself and I’m not going to be so terrible, and I’m going to do all these completely insurmountable and impossible things every single day to make myself into this image that I see of myself where I will finally like who I am.” And then of course, it’s like you mess up once and you’re just on this slippery slope to total self emulation and you’re so unhappy.

And I think that’s really telling as to; the fact that I thought that is telling about the type of person that I am, and that I now understand that I am. Because I for many years was that person who was like, “I have to fix myself, I’m terrible, I don’t like my body, I don’t like my job, this and that, so I’m going to make these really, I’m going to get really into making these lists and these charts and I’m going to chart my workouts and I’m going to really beat myself up about how many bites I ate at meal number 7, because I’m going to eat 76 tiny meals a day.” And all that stuff. I’ve definitely been there in a really unhealthy space around resolutions. But I think you’re right; you can bring a really excited and fresh and thoughtful mindset to the idea of doing something just a little bit better. So I think that’s really huge. And over time, I think I’ve really come to peace with the type of person I am and what actually helps me to thrive, and what just makes me crazy.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I just, I don’t know why I have to keep clearing my throat over here. So Edaline says she used to make New Years’ Resolutions, but always broke them within a few days so now she doesn’t. She says, “I just take each day as it comes, that avoids big resolutions and inevitable failure and the feelings of being deprived. Every day can be the start of a new year, not just the official one.” I like that, in a sense.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because people are like; oh my gosh, I can’t believe you started a meal plan before the holidays. I think I started it the first week of November; and I was sharing this mindset, right, like I didn’t have to wait until the New Year. I was ready. Whenever you’re ready; if you’re ready, you’re ready. {laughs} You know? So I think that is kind of a cool mindset.

But I think that one thing that she says this; she always broke them within a few days, and “avoiding big resolutions that are inevitable failure.” I think this is where the self-knowledge of, how do we handle expectations? It sounds like she was expecting of herself to maybe be either an Upholder type or a Questioner type, and perhaps she’s an Obliger? Perhaps the reason that she “failed” on whatever her expectation of herself was, was either because, like you said, it was just so huge. Which I am with you; there are some people who are “do all the things at once”, and some people need baby steps. There are just different types of people, and different things work for different people.

I actually am a do all the things kind of person. If I do one thing, it inevitably impacts everything. I’m on this meal plan; I’ve been doing this morning, call it cardio, but it’s just getting some movement in the morning, it’s nothing crazy. {laughs} I’m not, whatever, running 10 miles or any of that. But for me, it all comes together and it feeds into each other, and I like that. I think years ago, I probably said this on the podcast; I’m a shake the snow globe type. When I’m ready for change, I shake the snow globe and every piece of snow is up in the swirly water, and then it’s going to land back down again at some point. I’m not {laughs} I’m not like a small thing; I change so many things at once. And it does cause a lot of stress for me, but that’s just how it works. But I think for someone who is feeling like this is me; “if I make these resolutions, inevitably I’ll fail”; I think this is a really good time for you to dissect it.

Liz, I want to see if maybe you can illuminate some more of the motivation side of things. Like this internal motivation that we might have. But with this statement that Edaline has, I’m assuming I’m saying that right. Perhaps she was not approaching it in a way that’s ideal for her personality and for her tendency to achieve things. Maybe, if she had broken them into something that’s smaller and also created a different set up for expectations. So if it was to eat better or it was to exercise; maybe having a friend that she meets for the exercise. Maybe having a nutrition coach that she needs to sort of answer to. I don’t know what her personality is. But I think those things are very helpful for us to know.

Also, recognize that the people around you might not be like you. So, Liz, you and I talked about this. You think, and I think too, that you probably have an Obliger tendency. Scott has an Upholder tendency, and I have a Rebel tendency. For you, if we as a team were working on something and I give you some deadlines, you’re pretty good at sticking to those. I’m the worst; sometimes I stick to them, sometimes I don’t. {laughs} Scott, dealing with me, figuring out how to get me to do something is really tough, but with him if I tell him what I need or want him to do, he pretty much does it because that’s just his tendency.

We have to recognized that just because we’re one way doesn’t mean someone else will be, and that’s a tough thing when you have a partner who is so different from you in that way, that they think or expect you’ll be the way they are. Or that they’re way of achieving change will work for you, and it probably won’t, you know, because you’re probably different in that way.

So, Liz I know that you and I have talked about several; oh, a lot of episodes back, this concept of “losing the baby weight”, right.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And you were like, I’m not going to do that. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And it wasn’t like you were saying, “I’m just going to keep all this weight on if I want to.” It wasn’t that, it just it wasn’t your thing to want to think of it that way. But that doesn’t mean that you didn’t achieve the same thing that somebody else might have set out to achieve by saying, “I’m going to lose this baby weight”. Because when I saw you, you looked exactly the same as before you had a baby. {laughs} So,

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Obviously you got there, but your mindset around it was totally different and the way that you approached it was totally different. So I just want to hear more from you about that. Because we’re so different when it comes to those types of goals. Because for me I have to set; say the thing. Like, this is what I’m going to do. What was going on with that for you?

Liz Wolfe: Well just over all, as for anything in my life, I have just found over the last couple of years. As I’ve gotten older. That I just don’t thrive; I thrive when I give myself grace, when I acknowledge the fact that life can be enjoyed under my own expectations rather than other people’s or societies expectations or whatever.

I say that because I think a lot of the ways and the reasons we generate goals, particularly women who have just had babies; we generate our goals based on what maybe society tells us. The messages we’re getting about how women should look, or what we should care about, or what we should be doing. And I realized that not only are those kind of irrelevant; they’re kind of straw men, because we don’t have to look a certain way. We can enjoy our lives just as ourselves if that makes sense. I can enjoy my life the way I want to enjoy my life, and my goals and my wants don’t have to fit into this little box of “shoulds”. Does that make sense?

Diane Sanfilippo: It does… ok.

Liz Wolfe: Go ahead.

Diane Sanfilippo: So just to tell you; I’m weirdly fan-girling about this whole Gretchen Rubin thing. But she’s got a name for this; it’s called an Obliger Rebellion.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I like it!

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, you’ve spent so long obliging, and you’re like; F-that! No more. You know what I mean? I’m done with that.

Liz Wolfe: Because it never worked for me. It was always setting big goals, or really just dysfunctional, putting myself at just dysfunctional situations with exercise and eating and just, it didn’t make me feel good, it didn’t make me happy. The rest of my life; I think I actually talked about this a little bit in Eat the Yolks when I shared a little bit about my own food journey. But the rest of my life was symptomatic of this dysfunction in my brain. My relationships were not good, my skin was not good, my sleep was not good, my work was not good. It just translated into everything for me. So I finally realize that the choices I was making kind of resonated, it had this ripple effect through the rest of my life.

So, a few years ago changing that, and just seeking balance and peace in what truly made me feel balanced and peaceful. Not trying to be like, “oh well this should make me feel balanced and peaceful so I’m going to do it until I feel balanced and peaceful.” No. It was more asking myself what gave me peace, and what maybe would lead to the end game. I wanted to find a partner that was caring and kind and compassionate. And I realized that my choices were not reflective of that ultimate desire. So I always kind of wanted to turn the people I was dating into caring and compassionate people {laughs} and it just doesn’t work that way.

Anyway the point is, I was seeking the true end point, which was peace and balance through my choices. So realizing that I could feel great about that in the way I used to think looking a certain way would make me feel great, I started to seek just different things. So going into my pregnancy, that was definitely my mindset. And it translated into the way I thought about pregnancy weight gain. So I actually don’t know how much I might have gained during my pregnancy. I did not track it at all. I watched my body, I felt like this was a reasonable amount of extra girth around the middle and all of that.

So rather than micromanage that and track it and obsess over it, I just kind of observed. I just kind of took a step back mentally and observed myself and my experience as objectively as I could with great love for myself and the experience that I was in. it just seemed to allow things to maintain balance in way that I never could have expected. I mean, I had no idea what to expect. I expected my body to handle pregnancy well, because I had done a lot of preparation ahead of time, but I was just really; I had the most peaceful experience, and post pregnancy I had no intention of all of a sudden becoming this person that would beat myself up for not looking a certain way, or whatever.

The point is, I was still nourishing myself well, I was still going into that time in my life with the same mindset that I had the entire pregnancy, so that just led me not to care about losing this baby weight, or feeling like I had to do something to be healthy. I was just doing what would best nourish my body, and I continue to do that. What best nourishes my body for breastfeeding, what keeps me as healthy as possible, which is walking, working around the farm, spending time with my kid, and just trying to figure this whole mom thing out.

So that’s; I don’t know. I kind of went on a tangent there, but giving myself as much grace as possible. Because it is not fun to sit there and beat yourself up about how much weight you’ve gained, and how much weight you’ve lost and what you look like, etc., etc. Maybe there’s a place you want to take your body, but I don’t think anybody has ever gotten to their desired endpoint by doing something that makes them feel like crap about themselves. Does that make sense?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, absolutely.

Liz Wolfe: But you’re enjoying the process of watching your macros.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally! I love it.

Liz Wolfe: And this food plan. But if you weren’t enjoying it, I really suspect that you would end up probably a step behind where you even started. Just because the process would suck.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think so. And I think, I’m definitely somebody who is about the journey {laughs}. What movie was I quoting? I was like, “It’s about the journey, people.” Oh, no. it’s not even a movie! I listen to Tina Fey’s Bossypants book so many times that I quote it, and absolutely nobody knows what I’m talking about. Because you can’t quote an audio book and have people know what you’re talking about.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I am about the journey, and that is why when I took on this plan I’m also about making a lot of changes at once. Because I need to feel like I’m living externally the way I feel about myself internally. That’s huge. And for you guys listening, we’re kind of telling these stories because we don’t have all the answers. We’re not psychologists and psychiatrists over here, but hopefully hearing our rationale to this is going to explain a lot of things to you guys about; because Liz and I are so different about this stuff. But we get that we’re so different, and that’s ok. You know what I mean?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was telling you what I’m doing, and you have a few questions about it, whatever, and then that's it. You respect my choices to do what I’m going to do, and as friends who care about each other; I don’t know, if a year after you had a baby, if you maybe were weighing what you weighed while you had the baby and you were unhappy about it or something was going, then maybe I would be like, hey, is there something you want to try, or whatever. But I would never push you to do something that’s not something that you want to do, you know what I mean? Only as a supportive friend, just be there for the person and let them have their process of figuring it out.

I think a lot of times when people maybe make a resolution and don’t stick to it, first of all it’s coming up; or have a goal and don’t achieve it. Either it’s just too big, or the time frame is too short, or it’s not broken down into something specific, or you're not paying attention to how you operate optimally. You’re not paying attention to the fact that; like for you with work stuff, different from body and personal stuff, right? You do work really well with outside expectations and deadlines. You’re like; “when do you need this by? Ok.” And that doesn’t mean that you never falter on a deadline, it just means that you do operate better with that. If you try and decide for yourself when you're going to get something done, it’s going to slip even more. And it’s not good or bad, it just is what it is, you know. It’s just our own different tendencies.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Just kind of observing yourself as objectively as you can. Float up above your body and watch this beautiful human person that is you, and how you work and how you operate, and enjoy that and embrace it, and really harness it for as much success as you possibly can. I think that’s the way to go.

3. Episode 274: the four types of resolutions people make [29:16]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, so again, make sure you go check out episode 223. Next up, we have a clip from episode 274, where we talked about the four types of resolutions that people make. Group one; those that make resolutions; group two, those that make resolutions with no deadline; group three, those that make resolutions but not typical resolutions; group four are the people that do not make resolutions at all. I identify with that group. And the clip we’re highlighting covers the first two types. So make sure you listen to the full episode to learn more about all four.

But first, a quick word from one of our sponsors.

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Liz Wolfe: Ok, so what are we talking about today, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Today we’re going to talk about resolutions. It’s a couple of weeks early, which I think is good, because I think it’s a good thing to talk about before the first of January rolls around. And it’s always a hot topic, of course, this time of year. And every year we seem to have a little bit of a different feeling on resolutions, depending on how the year has gone and where we’re coming from on it. I definitely have some new experiences in the last year that I think will be valuable to share that a lot of you guys have heard, but I’ll kind of boil it down today. But there’s no black and white answer on resolutions and whether they’re worth it; and it obviously always comes down to different folks’ personal situations. So we’re going to talk about resolutions, motivation, share some of your comments on why you do or do not make resolutions for yourselves.

Liz Wolfe: Okie dokie. This is going to be a Diane heavy episode, considering I have no goals right now, other than general survival. I guess that’s not entirely true. Ok, so we thank everyone, once again, for submitting questions on Instagram. We post these calls for questions on Sundays, so always be on the lookout if you like submitting questions. Ok, here we go.

So we have people that seem to fall into about 4 camps when it comes to resolutions. Camp number one is, “Yes I make resolutions, whether it’s a list or just a goal.” These people still make them. It’s a concerted, you know; it’s a thing that they do, they put them out there.

Second camp is, “Yes I make resolutions with no deadline, it’s more of just kind of an ongoing process, not a real solid goal.”

Camp number three, “Yes, but it’s not a typical list of resolutions.” So I don’t know what an example of that would be, Diane maybe you can chime in there.

And then camp four is just, “No, I don’t make a resolution at all.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I think this was the collection of what the responses were over on Instagram; and Niki on my team, she really does a nice job of posting for questions, and then obviously you and I are seeing what people are commenting. But this was kind of the breakdown of what people were making comments about. And so one thing I want to mention before we share some of your responses is the journal portion of the Master Class. I think this ties in nicely with resolutions and the topic today; is that with all of this stuff. And obviously this is mostly for people who; well, not even just related to resolutions.

It’s pretty much proven; I don’t know what the science is, but this is every single success motivation business speaker entrepreneur; anyone out there doing big, great things; the topic of writing down something that you’re trying to achieve; whether it’s a resolution or a goal, or just a personal development thing; writing it down gives it a power that nothing else will. Thinking about it doesn’t do the same thing. Writing it down and putting it on paper gives it a power, and it becomes real when you do that. Because if it’s just a thought, it doesn’t happen. But if you write it down, things become real. So that’s one of the reasons why.

It’s interesting; you know, we have a ton of folks who are going through the Beta version of the program, and some people were kind of resistant to the journaling at first. And I’m like, I get it, but if you’re trying to make changes; and a lot of the folks who are in that program; well, all of them, are practitioners, and they’re really going through the course to try to take it to then teach their students. So I understand some of them are like; well I feel like I understand this content and I’m not in a place where I need to make nutritional changes. Although I think all of us always have something to learn. Not to say we can always be doing things better, but sometimes, yeah we can.

But anyway. What we’re doing with you guys is tracking weekly and daily; weekly reflections, action items, and things like that. And we want it to be your personal journey. So that’s a lot to do with what we’re talking about today with resolutions because we just know how powerful it is when you write something down. And you guys have heard me make the quote before from Gretchen Rubin who I’m like; just totally obsessed with her podcast and content these days, but we manage what we monitor. And so we monitor very well by writing something down. Just to kind of throw that out there.

And we’re making a goal setting download to go with this episode for everyone; so anybody who wants that, it’ll be available with this episode over at Because as we go through some of this stuff on resolutions, we know that out of the four categories of folks who either do or do not like to have resolutions, three-quarters of you do. So, I think having some way to write that stuff down; I think you guys will really like it. So we’ll get into some of the responses that you guys have had, and then we’ll talk about some of our thoughts on it.

Liz Wolfe: Ok; so let’s get going with some of the responses. These are from the folks who; “Yes, make goals, whether it’s a list or just one goal, big or small.” This one is from Heather. “I like to set goals for the year; smart goals in all areas of my life, and maybe something I’d like to check off my house to-do list; like make a photo book or something like that that I avoid doing.”

This is another one from a different Heather. “I usually have a couple of reasonable goals that I set.” This is from Rachel. “I made one resolution last year to work on sleep hygiene. Get to bed before or by 10 p.m. so I can get up early to work out and still get enough sleep. This affords me the ability to get up early and workout. To do that, I started booking gym classes at 5:30 a.m. A few nights and mornings like that in a row made a powerful impact, and now I’m ready for bed by 9:30 p.m. One goal allowed me to make more overall healthy choices, instead of a laundry list of goals that made me feel like crap about myself and never got accomplished.” I love that, that’s a really good one. And I love the goal of sleep hygiene spilling over into fitness and just overall wellness. That’s awesome.

Alright, this is from Steph. “I always set goals for the New Year; large and small. My husband and I have a tradition of going to a coffee shop on New Year’s Eve day to write them out; often on napkins.” Aww, that’s really sweet. “I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it really works for me. There’s something to putting your goals on paper. Then I tape them to the wall near the light switch in my bedroom so I see them often.” So cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, that’s so cute.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that.

Liz Wolfe: Good memories. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I’m totally with you on Rachel’s note. I think the getting to bed before 10 p.m. thing was huge. And for those of you who have heard, since about this time last year, it was the beginning of November last year, so maybe it was more than a year ago now, that I started a meal plan back then. And one of the things with the meal plan was the exercise I was supposed to do included fasted morning cardio. And at the time, that mostly sounded just horrible to me, and it started out as just walks in the morning. So it wasn’t even like I made the choice to do it; but kind of on the tip that Rachel is saying, because I needed to get up and do this fasted morning cardio. And I’m somebody who wakes up starving, so I can’t just dilly dally and not go, because I’m just going to get hungrier and hungrier. I have to just go, get it done, come home and eat. Same thing where it was like, one big change that kind of shook things up that made me then tired earlier, because I went and did the exercise first thing in the morning, I was more tired at night, and for the last year have probably getting much better sleep than I was getting before that.

And I think that if it is a goal you’re going to set, I love the sleep hygiene thing. Because it does affect so many other things. And it also, you know, setting a goal like “I’m going to lose weight” or something about losing weight; I think the weight loss becomes; I don’t think, I know, weight loss is a result of small choices and small habits that you create and that you adhere to and are consistent with day in and day out for a longer period of time. So setting a goal like, “Oh I’m going to get this thing done and cross off my list” is totally different from setting a goal of weight loss/fat loss, what have you. You know, you can’t say, “I want to lose 100 pounds” and that’s something you can accomplish in the next month. You can’t lose 100 pounds; that’s not the goal. The goal is the discipline and the habit change that’s required every single day.

So I think with resolutions, one of the reasons people may not really stick to them or do well with them is that you’re making a resolution that’s too big without getting real about how to break it down and how to make it happen. So that’s definitely one of the downfalls of sort of poor resolutions or poor goals. I think one of the other ones is just that they can be too; I don’t want to say nebulous, but you’re just not clear on what it is. You can say, “I want to get better sleep” or “I want to have better sleep hygiene” but she was specific. Rachel was specific here when said, “Go to bed by or before 10 p.m.” And I think being specific makes a really big difference. Because you can’t monitor what is better than you did if you don’t know what’s the tracking that you’re doing. Like, ok, did I get to bed by or before 10 p.m. or not? Or you can do something like I’ve been doing with the Fitbit, where I kind of watch and see what the tracking is on my sleep. I think that can be really helpful, too.

But you're not really a resolutions person; and I don’t know, Liz are you? I don’t think you’re a goal setter type person, are you? I feel like you just kind of flow a lot more. But maybe that’s just the time of your life that we’ve kind of been friends. I don’t know what your personality is like outside of these.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t even remember what I’ve said in the past. Because I know we’ve done these episodes, before.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well that’s ok. I don’t remember what I said.

Liz Wolfe: I know right; it’s hard. I feel like we need a disclaimer at the beginning of these that says, like, “If I said something two weeks ago and I say something different today, go with what I said most recently.” {laughs} I’m not trying to contradict myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh but that’s; I think that’s totally legit. Because we change, and we evolve, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. You know what’s weird? Just from talking about doing this episode, I’m kind of trying to decide if at this point in my life, because I’ve given myself; folks know I’ve given myself a lot of grace in the last two years. And that felt good; that felt like taking some stress off of myself. So there’s that fine line between a goal causing stress and a goal being a vehicle of motivation. It’s kind of like the fine line between love and hate.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: They’re such opposite concepts; stress and motivation, but it’s just, you can turn on a dime from one to the other. And I think maybe this year, I might actually benefit from having a goal like what Rachel talked about. I loved the sleep hygiene one, because that is probably my biggest downfall right now. I’m dealing with a lot, physically with just tapering down on breastfeeding and hormonal stuff. I don’t know man; I think I really need to have some kind of official thing, where I’m not placing so much value on that end of the night, falling onto the couch with my husband, and watching something for an hour-hour and a half. It’s so tempting as a parent though, because you’re just like, all day long your entire day is not yours. You wake up to a little voice, and you put that little voice down for the night, and you want some adult time, and most of the time that’s screen time. So I think maybe a sleep hygiene goal would really set me on a good path. That might be the way the way to tackle it. Hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s a really good way to look at it. You know, as you're describing what it feels like at the end of the night; it’s not the same and any time I say something like this, it’s never to be like; well, this other thing is a lot like parenthood. Because I am not a parent, so I will never claim to know what that’s like. But what you’re describing, the feeling of, “now this is my time.”

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s how I used to feel at the end of the night when I had a job; and not to say that you don’t like what you’re doing all day with the kid.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: No, but when I didn’t like what I was doing all day and I felt like it wasn’t my time, I would stay up later at night, and then I wouldn’t feel great the next day as a result of it. And really I was kind of just robbing myself of much more productive time. For me, my productive time is not in the evening. It’s not good time, and mostly I’m ready to go to bed by 8 or 8:30. I stay up later, because it seems like the right thing to do {laughs} but I really should put myself to sleep because I’m pretty much tired at that point.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I totally get that feeling, too, of well; “This feels like my time to do something I choose to do,” but I think you’re also totally spot on that; but is your day otherwise, like when you do have the days where you have some childcare, how productive can those be? And could they be maybe a little more productive, and not in a, “I have to be productive, oh god!” but just naturally. Is your energy better, is your focus better, because you're getting better sleep?

And I think to the point I was making before about, you can’t just decide, “I’m going to get better sleep” and then in the next two days reap the benefit of that. It’s a long-term benefit. So unfortunately, we have to be patient and we have to trust the process, and we have to do the thing, and make the habit, and just make it a thing that we do, and almost not question it when we know that it’s the right thing to do; you know? Is that weird?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, well that’s cool. So, what about the next group of people who like to make resolutions and they think about the New Year and all of that, but not really time sensitive. Just kind of more of a feeling. This one was from That’s not Paleo on Instagram. We’re not telling this person they’re not paleo; that’s just their handle.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: This person says, “I usually make resolutions. I have no end goal. For example; ‘make an effort to show people you care about them.’ I want to be a better person, and there is no end goal, I can feel just as strongly about that resolution in December 2017 as I did or will come January 1, 2017.” So it’s not exactly about the time; this person’s saying it’s not about just the New Year, but there’s that.

And then from Mary, she says “No. I had resolutions when I had a disordered relationship with food,” that’s kind of implying that it only has to be about food. She says, “Now if I feel like changing things up, I do it in the moment I thought of it, or I change my mind and don’t do it at all. I know others have no issues with resolutions, but I couldn’t get rid of the pressure, so I just stopped doing them. I try to be my best all year, setting monthly goals and reassessing. Constant work in progress, not just at the New Year.”

So I think there are a couple of things here. One thing I always think about now is the idea of people who are the Abstainer/Moderators. And because you and I are so different in so many ways, Liz; like you’re such a Moderator. And I think the mindset of doing a little at a time; or, well I can handle this, I don’t have to just be focused on this. I feel like the Abstainer/Moderator thing kind of spills over into this a little bit, because I am that way. Because it’s either like, I’m doing this thing or I’m not. Either I’m working on this or I’m not. Whereas I could see how someone with a more moderate mindset is like; well I don’t have to say I’m doing this or not, I just kind of do stuff here and there that contributes to it.

But I think this is really interesting, because if we look at how we stay motivated when we don’t actually make a deadline or don’t actually say what the thing is, we just kind of say, “I’m writing this program.” Like, with a program, with you’re working on, it’s so big that if you just say you’re working on it but you don’t break it down and have a deadline, maybe that’s not as effective for getting it done, you know what I mean. And I think that with people who have a big goal, I think it does become a little scarier when you do break it down, particularly because you realize how much work there is to do. Or because you realize what has to change every single day to make something happen.

I find, however, that somehow takes the pressure off in a way once you break it down and get real about how long something is going to take. So, same thing happens with fat loss. When someone is like; I want to lose this much weight. When you realize that an actual, healthy pace of fat loss with moderate changes that are not too crazy that you don’t feel like you're dieting, is really half a pound a week; when you realize it’s going to take you 20 weeks to lose 10 pounds in a manageable way that doesn’t make you feel crazy, that doesn’t sound like something that people really want to sign up for. People don’t really want to sign up for something that’s going to take almost half the year, because that just seems like a huge commitment. And I think we have a hard time wrapping our minds around doing work for that long to contribute to something that we’re unsure of whether or not it’s actually going to happen.

And I know this sounds like kind of a tangent, or like it doesn’t make sense, but it does. Because if you think about a resolution or a goal with no deadline, it’s just like saying, I’m going to write a book. But you don’t have a publisher breathing down your neck. I would never have written four books without someone saying, “No, Diane; it has to go to print. You have to get it done by this day if you want it to come out on that day.” I could never have gotten it done if I was just relying on myself, without an actual real deadline. So I don’t know. How can people stay motivated if there is no deadline?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know man. Deadlines stress me out. There’s another fine line there, somewhere, I’m thinking. I kind of like the idea of just; maybe this would be the goal. The goal would be, every day just focusing on that day. I’m doing this behavior, this smaller broken down behavior, on this day and every day that I do it is a win. And then tomorrow I’m going to do it, and tomorrow I’m going to do it. So that’s kind of making it small and manageable; I don’t know, am I off base on that?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I think a lot of writers, for example, will say, they write for one hour every day, whatever it is. Or they write 1000 words every day, whatever it is. And at some point, it’s contributing to the thing they’re trying to write. But they break it down that day. And I think for people who are trying to eat healthfully or build muscle at the gym or get stronger or whatever, I think that’s the only way to look at it. You cannot say, “I’m going to get more fit” and it’s like a big goal. It literally is, “I go to the gym today.”

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it’s not a decision, you know, it just becomes a habit. I think that’s kind of what you’re touching on. It’s less about, “I have a goal, I’m going to achieve the goal.” Because I don’t think that’s as motivating for you or as; it’s just more stressful if you phrase it that way. Whereas; for you, I think being a person who has good habits naturally, is something that you would identify. You just have good habits; it’s not about you being goal oriented with those. This is like; you eat well, you eat nutrient dense foods because that’s who you are. So I think part of that is creating those habits every day in a way that you feel is workable and not super stressful; even if it’s challenging at first, maybe.

Liz Wolfe: So, again, be sure to go check out episode 274 to hear more about the other two types of resolutions. As well as the five love languages, and some fun personality test stuff.

4. Episode 328: Resolutions and sleep [51:46]

Liz Wolfe: Our final snippet today is from episode 328, where we talk about resolution and sleep. Because, here’s the thing; there’s only so much you can talk about resolution-wise. And I really do feel like we covered most everything in 223 and 274. And last year’s episode, this one we’re talking about now, is a little different in that we had both read an article from New York Magazine’s The Cut, where it talked about how 50% of people set resolutions, and only 8% actually keep them. And the big reason for this is not lack of willpower; it’s lack of sleep. So I’ll start the clip when I read a few paragraphs from the article.

But before I do that, let’s hear from our final sponsor.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. Registration is now open for February class, and you can learn more and save your seat by going to Don’t forget to check out the NTA’s annual conference, Roots, happening March 1 through 3 in Portland, Oregon. It’s one of the most empowering and educational holistic nutritional events of the year, and all are welcome.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, folks! It’s that time of year again when we get to talk about resolutions!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. People know how I feel about this. And we’ve talked about this on previous podcasts. And I think last year’s podcast, in particular. It was probably last year, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Who can remember.

Liz Wolfe: I think is still; I know, who can remember. Is probably still really important, and worth revisiting for folks that are interested in this topic. There was a time when I was really just like; oh, come on. New Year’s resolutions. Pbbfft. Just like, no thank you. But then we talked about the differences in personalities. Who this kind of works for, and who this works against. And it’s a really interesting conversation.

But for this year, we both read an article on, I think it was New York Magazine’s, The Cut. It’s from last year, actually. But it talks about how 50% of the country will set New Year’s resolutions, and only 8% actually keep them. And this article was so interesting to me. Because this is never something I ever considered as being the big reason why the majority of people who set resolutions are actually failing at them. The article talks about lack of sleep. And it makes so much sense.

So I’ll read a few paragraphs quickly, and we’ll get to talking about it. From the article.

“This isn’t something to feel bad about. Changing your behavior, whether it’s eating less, exercising more, or whatever else, is really, really difficult. But there’s a chance you're facing these challenges in a hamstrung way. And there’s an easy solution; get more sleep. Keeping New Year’s resolutions, after all, requires self-control, energy, and focus. And if you're sleep deprived; which a sizable chunk of Americans are, you're likely lacking in all of these departments. There’s voluminous evidence that those countless little decisions that, when added up, lead us to fail or succeed at our New Year’s resolution — take a cookie or leave it; go to the gym or stay at home watching football — are affected by our level of stress and exhaustion at a given moment.”

And then the article goes into more detail. And we’ll link to the article in the show notes so you can read it at well. But essentially the argument is; if you're exhausted, you’ll have less willpower. You’ll have; I mean, willpower is kind of my least favorite word. But I think folks get what we’re talking about. And you can kind of tumble down the rabbit hole of non-resolutionary behavior. Which is a phrase I just made up. Unhealthy eating, lower productivity, and less energy.

So I found this to be really profound and interesting. That maybe the top goal for anyone doing a New Year’s resolution is to maximize their sleep. And then their secondary goals can be whatever it is they really want for themselves.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Well this; I mean, it’s so timely. Because if anyone is following me on Instagram, especially Instagram stories, which is kind of the peek behind the curtain of everything. Just everyday life stuff, from what the dog is doing to what I’m eating to; lately I’ve been posting my Fitbit tracker’s sleep record. Which, I use it as a snapshot. It’s not one of the super intense trackers where it watches your heart rate, and tracks your deep sleep and all that. Because I’m really good with just the basic information. Too much information for me, and I think it would just drive me crazy. {laughs} Because if it tells me bad things, I’m like; alright this effort is not worth it. So I like having the basic information. And I like just seeing the progress over time. I do my best not to beat myself up over one night that wasn’t the best sleep ever. But just looking at the progress over a month or three months.

But yeah, I mean this is such a great topic. Because it’s a new way for us to look at this idea of resolutions. And like you were saying; the word willpower. Really what willpower comes down to is feeling like we have authority over our decisions. I don’t know; the word I want is just on the tip of my tongue. But that we really just are making the decisions that we’ve told ourselves that we want to make. And in those moments every single day, there are so many inputs that come into play that affect those decisions.

Those of us, like you and I, who run our own business. Really, we wake up and we have to determine what we’re doing every day. Even if somebody demands something of us, it’s still sort of our own decision. We’re constantly; and as a parent. I bet this is exactly what’s happening as a parent, too. Literally all day long, you're making decisions. And it’s true for anyone.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, decisions and adjustments, for sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it’s true for anyone. And maybe, even at any job where you're kind of in the ranks or what have you, you are making decisions all day. I think that’s just something that we underestimate how much that exhausts us throughout the process of the day. As we go through the day. So if we’re starting the day really tired, then we’re just not setting ourselves up for being able to make decisions clearly and in a way that we feel best suits our needs.

I know that this happens to me. If there’s a day where I didn’t sleep well, and I had certain things planned; it pretty much all goes to hell in a handbasket. I’m like, I don’t know what just happened, but based on the fact that I did not sleep, the day is; I mean, as stated in the article. It’s less productive. I obviously don’t have the energy. So that’s really been my focus.

Diane Sanfilippo: To your point about issues with anxiety. For me, I do find that working on my sleep is also helping a ton. Because I think that’s something that; I don’t know, we just really underestimate it. And it’s one of the biggest factors in our life. I would say before even food is sleep. Because everything we do all day also contributes to whether or not we can sleep. I don’t know; what’s you're take on that? Do you feel like this is a good way to approach it? To really be focusing on sleep?

Liz Wolfe: I think it’s genius. Yeah. And I think it’s also a challenge to people who are like; no, I want to say my goal is to lose 2 inches. I want to say my goal is to workout every day. Well; if you really, really want that. If you really want what you're saying you want, what’s it going to take to get there? And I think the really true answer is, you need to get more sleep. I was actually; do you remember years ago when I talked about how when I prioritized sleep, I was going to be at like 8 p.m. every night. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: You're like, how funny was I, without a child.

Liz Wolfe: How cute was that? Exactly. How funny. Hilarious. No child. No petting zoo that I’m trying to take care of out here. Yeah. But still, I acknowledge 100% that that’s just not possible for most people. But it’s still telling. And if I could even get a fraction of that level of health back by prioritizing sleep to the degree that is possible, and really making adjustments to that.

And I think 99% of people can. 99% of people can choose not to watch TV before bed. I am so guilty of that, because bedtime is when I kick up my heels, and I’m like; “Got the kid down. What are we going to do next? Party, party, party. Which Housewives is on?” It’s just that moment you take to yourself and you eat something. You sit down. You relax. Whatever it is. It’s the same thing for people that work a really demanding job. Because that’s what parenthood is, right? A really, really demanding job. You get home, and you're like; I’m going to take this minute for me.

And zoning out to the TV, to some kind of blue light device, is almost easier and less mentally; it requires less mental investment than drawing a bath and taking a bath. Or just going to bed. So to the degree that you can, work on your sleep hygiene. I think it’s really, really important.

And I was actually; this is interesting that this came up for this podcast. Because last night, before we actually got the podcast topics, I was reading it was either an op-ed or a Q&A in the New York Times where somebody had asked about whether they should prioritize getting an extra hour of sleep, or getting up early to workout. And I was actually pretty pleased with the answer that the doctor gave to this person. Which was, it’s kind of a horrible question.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But opt for sleep first. Because sleep determines how well you recover from exercise. Sleep determines whether your exercise does what you want it to do, or whether your exercise just causes more stress. Sleep determines even how you digest your food. Our muscles, I think, have circadian rhythm. Or at least respond to our circadian rhythm. So all of those things are really important. And what the doctor said was; if you want to work out more, then work it in during the day. Go up a flight of stairs. Do some air squats. Not in heels.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: if I made add onto this; do all of this in zero drop shoes. Don’t do anything in a high heel. Or even a running shoe, because those are basically half-inch heels. So you work those things in during the day. And that will be beneficial. But I was really happy that the doctor seemed to be saying that it was really important to prioritize sleep. This seems to be going mainstream a little bit.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So I think this is genius. And I think it’s really a challenge to people. Do you really want this, or are you just saying you want it?

Liz Wolfe: So there’s lots more in episode 328 about sleep and tips that we have for you in succeeding at this resolution. So check it out. And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this mashup of episodes. And it’s helpful if you're in the midst of making resolutions or boycotting them altogether. You can find me, Liz, at and Diane at Don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or even on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, drop over to iTunes or Apple Podcast and leave us a review. We would absolutely appreciate it. We’ll see you next week.

Comments 2

  1. Hi Liz & Diane, where can I find the goal setting download mentioned in the clip from Episode 274? I checked out the page for episode 274 as well, but came up empty handed. Thanks!!

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