3 Things Keeping You From Your New Year’s Resolutions

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

If the average person added just one habit for their New Year’s resolutions, every single person would be happy—given that their good habits outweigh the bad, of course. Because happiness and success isn’t so much a factor of what you add. It’s about the junk you subtract.

I should know.

I transitioned from a hapless millennial to a writer who charges thousands per article by eliminating three major habits: Facebook, TV, and feeling sorry for myself. That’s all.

Reducing distractions made me successful

Limiting those habits freed up time and energy to stick with the one really good habit of writing every day, which ended up giving me the purpose and independence I was searching for. And by reducing distractions wherever I could, I adopted a lifestyle of constantly engaging myself in only the high-value activities that made me richer and happier.

If I stuck with my routine of avoiding distractions like the plague, life kept getting better. But when I indulged in social media and email, I always fell far short of what I could have accomplished. It just never made sense to continue feeling and being mediocre. So I kept limiting that which limited me.

Several years into this reductionist process, I teach others how to become successful and happy through the same method. And I want to share with you the top three distractions that, when eliminated, will make your New Year’s resolution reality.


Booze is the sanguine friend of so many people who feel they don’t have time to relax or do stuff they enjoy. But here’s the thing: after you’ve had your fun, you’re left to battle the aftereffects of the bottle, which include lethargy, headaches, and inanition. All of these things keep you from living life to the fullest and tackling your goals.

Each of my clients found that by eliminating alcohol entirely for at least a month (sometimes three, depending on the severity of the crutch), they were able to enjoy libations as a celebration of life—not as an escape from their problems. In reducing their boozy distractions, my clients were forced to create more time for the things that filled them with joy: like photography, writing, reading, and participating in their favorite sports.

If you eliminate alcohol entirely for at least a month, and then reintroduce it strictly for celebrations—not for a daily stress relief–, you’ll be on your way to an inspired new year. Need help? Check out oneyearnobeer.com for support.

*Side note: Pot, though an extremely beneficial plant, can keep you from accomplishing your goals. If you think it might be holding you back, sacrifice it for a few months in ’18. See the difference it makes.

2-Social Media

Sean Parker, cofounder of Facebook, recently said that the social media giant intentionally exploits “a vulnerability in human psychology.” The vulnerability is that we crave instant social gratification like crack. And when we have unlimited access to this digital coke, we keep going back…and back…and back.

The average millennial uses social media for an average of an hour and a half per day, broken into upwards of twenty visits. That amounts to a couple visits per hour. If that doesn’t sound too bad, consider this:

According to Gloria Mark, social media researcher at U.C Irvine, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to a task once interrupted. This means that a couple measly social checks per hour are making us impotent, workwise, and keeping us from making progress in every other aspect of life too.

My clients always roll their eyes when I put them on month-long social fasts. But literally 100% of them ask to extend the fast when it’s over—they finally had long enough periods of focus to accomplish more and to reflect more on the good in their lives, which makes a person happy and successful. It’ll work the same for you.

So make this entire first month a social-free month. You might gasp, wretch, or cry at first—many do. But you’ll soon find that eliminating this distraction enables you to stick to the goals that make life great.

3-Junk relationships

I’ve had clients who were so successful and balanced that they might as well have been coaching me, but for one small problem: their relationships were consuming their lives! In all the yelling, fighting, passive aggressive jabs, and worrying about their future, these clients were lost in distraction. And their situations didn’t improve until they made the decision:

A)Put all their effort into healing the relationships—counseling, coaching, getting both spouses on board. Or,
B)Let the relationship go.

The emotional baggage of a dysfunctional relationship is so heavy that it paralyzes you. And when you finally sort it out one way or another, you’ll find a massive increase in the energy and time you have for your goals. So, if you find yourself constantly regretting the dead-weight of a dead-end relationship, make a good decision. And if the relationship is salvageable, make its repair your number one focus. Because if you don’t, it’ll distract you from the awesome goals and habits you intend for the New Year.


Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha”, is famous for saying no to just about every deal that comes his way. If it doesn’t have value written on every face of it, he doesn’t touch it. That reductionist strategy has made him billions upon billions of dollars. And if you adopt the same strategy for your habits—saying no to everything that distracts you—you’ll have equal success in your personal life.

So skip on the booze; limit your digital social time; and make the right decision for your dysfunctional relationship. 2018 could very well be the best year of your life if you reduce these distractions. And if you need someone to keep you accountable, and to guide you in your goal setting, check out my coaching services here.

Oh…and happy New Year!!!

Written by Daniel Dowling
I went from being a highschool and college dropout to writing for the world's best publications in two short years. I owe ALL my success to habits like mindfulness and journaling. - So I built Millennial Success to share those incredible habits with you!