New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Simple Steps to Stick to Them

Resolutions_01012007Now that it’s a new year, most people wonder how to stick to their new year’s resolutions.

Even if you’ve already broken them, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. You can still pick yourself up and create smart habits to better your life.

Many of you are seeking, for instance, to shed excess weight and release such health-harming habits as over-consuming sugar, coffee
or diet soda. Many of you want to quit procrastinating, smoking, being habitually
late, obsessively checking emails or biting your nails.

Before you begin to make positive changes, it’s helpful to focus on the Benefits of Breaking Your Bad Habits or what I call “Babits™.

Let’s take the case of quitting sugar. As I learned back in 1998 when I cut out out sweeteners and refined carbs on doctor’s orders, ALL 44 of my baffling ailments, from crushing fatigue to brain fog, completely
disappeared, as I recounted in my book SUGAR SHOCK!,

For instance, licking sweets (pun
intended) and other health-robbing substances and unproductive
habits from caffeine overloading to diet soda guzzling can help you to:

  • Shed excess weight,
  • Get consistent energy,
  • Boost your moods,
  • Calm you down,
  • Become more spiritual and centered,
  • Increase your passion and productivity,
  • Reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer or hypoglycemia,
  • Manage these conditions, if you have them,
  • Rev up your libido,
  • Reduce your PMS symptoms,
  • And so much more!

In short, when you remove sugar and other negative patterns, you leave room for positive activities to take their place and you can begin to get a Life That Rocks!™. Here are 10 smart steps, which can help you
break free of your babits™ (bad habits) so you can to replace them with smart habits.

1. Congratulate Yourself. To begin your journey
to health and
wellness, I invite you to pat yourself on the back. You may wonder why
you would want to do that, especially if you’ve spent years abusing
your body. You want to applaud yourself, because the mere fact that
you’re beginning to look at your sugar addiction or other bad habit is
big! The first step to break away from sweets, refined carbs and other
babits™ is to NOT beat up on yourself. Granted, you may have gobbled or
guzzled high-calorie nutrient-poor sugary foods and drinks over the
years, but now is a time to be gentle with yourself, to treat yourself
with compassion and to take pride that you’re taking the much-needed
first step to treat your body with love and care. Go ahead: Lavish some
praise and kudos on yourself now that you’re finally confronting the
bad habit that’s been plaguing you—perhaps for years. Share your
in your journal or in a heart-to-heart conversation with a loved one.
Then imagine that you’re at the starting line of a race like a runner
athlete and that you’re ready to make a massive positive shift. Please
also remember to acknowledge and celebrate your every little
accomplishment. For example, when you make it through a meal without
sugary foods, diet soda or caffeine—or if you at least consume less of
them—take pride and applaud yourself. After all, each time you make
healthier choices, you get closer to more energy, a trimmer body and a
better life.

2. Move With Your Mind & Mantra. Before you begin to try
to kick your sugar addiction or another babit™, it’s time to embark on
Seven Smart Starter Habits (through Step #8) to cement your confidence
that good health, inner calm and new patterns await you. That’s because
whenever you seek to remove an old habit and replace it with a new one,
your work begins before you even try to make changes. In other words,
before you begin to “diet” or make important lifestyle changes, you
want to convince your mind that you CAN succeed. Begin each day knowing
in the depth of your being that you’ve already licked your unhealthy
habit. To get both your subconscious and conscious mind to accept that
you’ve succeeded—or are on the path to succeeding—create an
easy-to-repeat phrase, affirmation or mantra such as “I, [Your Name],
choose only nourishing foods and drinks, which keep me slim, toned and
healthy.” Repeat your positive statement at least 30 times a day. Make
sure to say it in the morning, right after you wake up, and in the
evening, before you go to sleep. Repeating it about 10 to 20 times
before meals also can help. Back in 1998, when I finally kicked sugar,
repeating my mantra enabled me to succeed. Now, my clients find this
technique effective, too.

3. Watch Home “Movies.” While you repeat your
affirmation to help you get rid of your babit™, you also want to watch
a movie in your mind, a technique that is used by some of the most
successful people in the world. Simply step outside yourself to play
and replay a visualization where you’re the heroine or hero, who
easily, happily and gracefully says “No, thank you” to sugar and other
energy-sapping substances. At the same time that you See Yourself Free,
witness yourself choosing only nourishing, nurturing foods, beverages
and activities. Watch your “movie” at least 10 to 20 times a day,
especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you
do this before meals, you’ll find that you “automatically” make smarter
food choices. This is another tactic that my clients use to great

4. Create a Vision Board. In recent years, especially since The
Secret was released, a number of accomplished people have raved about
the wonders of creating a visual representation of their goals, from
finally getting a dream body to finding a dream house or a cherished
soulmate. Since breaking free of your sugar addiction or other babits™
may seem challenging, you can help strengthen your resolve and make
your dream a reality by creating a vision board. If kicking sugar is
your goal, select photos and images of a slim you savoring only quality
foods. If you desire to conquer your caffeine habit, make sure to
include phrases and pictures of you enjoying water or herb tea. To
learn more, I highly recommend the book, The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life by Joyce Schwarz.

5. Find a Hero. Much has been said and written
about the value of finding someone to emulate. For your purposes, it’s
ideal to select one to three people, who’ve wildly succeeded at
something, whether it’s quitting a sugar addiction, becoming a
bestselling author or creating an amazing product. Learn about our
heroes’ lives and how, at times, before they succeeded, they may have
been on the verge of failure. Whenever you feel discouraged and
disheartened, remember the setbacks and tremendous odds that your
mentors overcame.

6. Motivate with the Masters. One of the most
inspiring activities you can undertake when you seek to do away with a
babit™ (bad habit) and replace it with a better one is to rely on books
and passages from the masters. For instance, when I kicked my sugar
habit nearly a dozen years ago, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, You Can if You Think You Can by Norman Vincent Peale, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra often encouraged  me and enabled me to stay my sugar-free course. (I would have immersed myself in The Secret,
but the book and movie hadn’t been released yet.) To this day, no
matter what I’m facing, I find inspiration in these and other books, as
well as in power cards, audio replays and CDs from such motivating
masters as Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson and Wayne Dyer. If the Bible
is special to you, then pick it up often, too, to study inspiring
sections. I cannot overstate the power in letting the Masters motivate
you to positive action.

7. Tune Up with a Theme Song. You know how loving
partners always fondly talk about “the song” that first drew them
together and the melody, which always brings them good cheer? They
imbue their “theme song” with power and pleasure, right? Now, I invite
you to select a tune that symbolizes the fact that you are happily
“breaking up” with your sugar addiction or other bad habit. The musical
piece—which you can play over and over again—can lift you to move
mountains, so to speak. Often, while writing lectures, articles and
books to help serve you, for inspiration, I’ll repeatedly play (as I am
now) such rousing, uplifting tunes as “Time to Say Good-Bye”
with Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. See if their dazzling tune
speaks to you or find another that becomes your kick-butt, kick-babit
theme song.

8. Warm Up Your Wise Guide. Often, my clients or
attendees at lectures admit that they know exactly what healthy foods
and activities they should eat and which counter-productive substances
they’d be wide to skip, but, they bemoan, inevitably, they cave their
supposed cravings and make bad choices. Those feelings of certain
failure are totally understandable, especially given the negative
forces that constantly fight against you very day—indeed, TV
commercials, print ads and visual stimuli for junk food or other
counter-productive pursuits bombard you just about everywhere you go.
That’s why it’s helpful to start each day by gently going within. In
the morning, try to take a 5-minute-to-30-minute breathing break or
mindfulness meditation time out to Warm up your Wise Guide. If you
prefer, pray to G-d for guidance or listen to a creative visualization
CD. When you tap into your highest good every morning, chances are
better that you’ll make better choices and pick optimal, nourishing
foods and activities. In addition, before you begin your meal, take a
short breathing break (of one or more minutes), too, to get guidance
from your wise, well-meaning guide. In particular, before you select
foods, drinks, substances or activities, ask your Wise Guide, “What
does my body, heart and soul really need and crave?” A great way to
learn how to tap into your Wise Guide is to listen regularly to Cheryl
Richardson’s wonderful Tuning In CD.

9. Forget the Fakes and Get Real. Whenever people want to lose weight or cut out candies, crackers, coffee or other unnatural substances, they almost
always ask me, “Connie, can I at least have low-calorie foods or drinks
with artificial sweeteners?” Let me answer this question with a
question. Why would you want to use imitation substances when
compelling research shows that doing so may not be safe? Indeed, some
compelling studies show that the mere taste of something sweet—even if
it’s sugar-free—can trigger sugar cravings. What’s more, research
suggests that you can gain weight — yes, you heard me right — by consuming sugar-free foods and
beverages. So why play with fire, so to speak? Instead of consuming fake stuff, it’s best to eat real foods such as vegetables and fruits that grow on trees or come out of the ground.

9. Power up with PFFW.
When you go on a diet or make other lifestyle changes, now is not the
time to starve yourself. In fact, many experts agree that when you eat
and drink about five to six mini-meals containing colorful,
high-quality foods and beverages, you will lose weight, and your desire
for nutrient-lacking foods takes a hike. So make sure to nourish your
wonderful body with ample, modest amounts of protein (P), superior fats
(F), fiber (F) and purified water (W). So, for instance, throughout the
day, you’ll eat colorful, preferably organic, pesticide-free vegetables
and low-sugar fruits, nuts such as almonds, a little olive oil or
ground flax seed, whole grains (many thrive on gluten-free), seeds and
grass-raised, free-range poultry or uncontaminated fish.

10. Seek Support. Since
millions around the world frequently fill up their bodies and time with
junk food and other horrible habits, you’d be smart to seek out
health-minded mentors and colleagues, who have either already succeeded
or who are also licking their babits™ (bad habits). In addition, make
sure to enlist the backing of your loved ones before you aim to conquer
your sugar addiction or other bad habit (babit™). By the way, you’re,
of course, invited to connect with us on Facebook or Ning to get
support, encouragement and motivation. Just join us at and

What in It for You? Of
course, you may be tempted to give up at times as you
begin your adventure to triumph over your sugar addiction or other
horrible habit, bear in mind that breaking free brings you benefits so that you can get a Life That Rocks™.

Dear reader, please know that I have
confidence in you. No matter what happened in the past, you
can succeed now. And when you do lick your sugar addiction or other bad
habit, please write to me so that together, we can share your story with the
world and inspire others to follow in your footsteps.

I invite you to be glad that it’s “Time to Say Good-Bye” now to your bad habits. Just get encouraged and moved to action by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.

Connie Bennett is author of the bestselling book SUGAR SHOCK! with Stephen Sinatra, M.D. She is a former “sugar addict,” who is now known as the “Smart Habits Girl” ( After she kicked sugar and refined carbs in 1998, she became more energetic, cheerful and focused. Connie is now devoted to helping people worldwide overcome
their bad habits (what she calls babits™) and achieve amazing goals and
dreams so they can have a Life That Rocks!™ Connie is also a motivating
speaker, certified holistic health counselor, life coach, journalist
and media guest. Sign up for Connie’s Connie’s Motivating Morsels ezine