Q&A: Why don’t good habits stick?

We’re coming up on the New Year and for most of us, that probably means setting some goals & making positive changes… which we’ll inevitably drop before February! Sorry, but that’s just the cold, hard truth for most of us!

Why do we do that?!

The biggest reason we fail at goals we set for ourselves is that we don’t replace our bad habit with something else. Going cold turkey for anything is difficult, but that difficulty can be eased with replacing it with something good. Getting rid of a bad habit MUST be a “tit for tat” deal. Give up X, replace it with Y. Quit smoking before breakfast, replace it with a luxurious espresso. Give up meat on the weekends, replace it with enough protein & fat from another source. Give up sugar, replace it with something that still feels rewarding but healthier.

I’ve gotta plan that’ll actually help you stay sugar-free with me AND replace it with something good. Actually, cutting sugar is exactly what I plan to do for the month of January until my birthday (the 27th).

Why is cutting sugar important:
I know we’ve all heard it before, but sometimes hearing it again gives us the gentle nudge we need to do something about it.

Sugar is our drug of choice. This addictive substance is argued to be equally or possibly even more addicting than cocaine. I don’t fully buy that as no one’s robbing banks for the lollipops or anything, but I get the sentiment. We’ve all experienced the feeling of “needing” sugar after a meal or getting very grumpy when we don’t have it. Sure, being addicted to sugar might not be EXACTLY like being addicted to cocaine, but it’s not healthy for us to be addicted to it at all.

Sugar has a time and place (on occasion) and shouldn’t be a staple in our diets.

I’m giving up sugar & here’s how I KNOW I’ll succeed:
I’m doing this in conjunction with the 21-Day Yoga Habit in the Bad Yogi Studio which starts January 2nd. That’ll get us over the toughest part of this no sugar challenge! Replacing my sugar addiction with something GOOD for me: yoga.

My game-plan:
I’m already planning which little “cheats” I’m gonna have to wean myself off the hard stuff:
– Coconut sugar in my morning oatmeal (Why’s it better than regular sugar? You should aim to keep your fructose & glucose intake as low as possible. While cane sugar is about 50% fructose, coconut sugar is only 3% fructose. It’s still sugar, but it’s a slightly better alternative.)

– 1 square of 70% dark chocolate after lunch and/or dinner if I crave it FIERCELY (1 square is 2g of sugar which comes out to about half a tsp per serving…) If the coconut sugar & dark chocolate is all I have in a day, that brings me to 2 tsp of sugar in a whole day which is awesome! I won’t even try to estimate what I’ve been having lately, haha!

– Scheduling to do my 21-Day Yoga Habit classes during times when I crave sugar the most. Even if you can’t do that, remember that anytime we do yoga or “workout,” we ALWAYS want to take better care of our bodies in general. Haven’t you noticed that too? Work up a bit of a sweat and the chicken sandwich sounds pretty good whereas the bag of chips sounded better before. Our brains get a signal that we should consume foods that are healthy and nourishing rather than sugar laden.

There’s nothing you need to do to “join me” for this sugar-free month. I’ll check in with you within the PBYP FB group and across my social medias to see how it’s going & to let you know how I feel.

To join the rest of the Bad Yogi Fam in January, sign up for the 21-Day Yoga Habit below!
Over to you! Are you doing the 21-Day Yoga Habit with your sugar-free January? What will be hardest for you? What “swaps” are you going to make?

PS: I went alcohol-free in December and it was super easy for me. I had zero cravings other than a couple times where I could have gone for a glass of red with dinner, but nothing serious. I had one glass of red on Christmas Day & a small glass of champagne that morning. It was perfect! I felt great all month and will stick with limiting my consumption from now on. It was easy and good for me. Win-win, right? 🙂 How was your Dry December?!

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    December 27, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Great advice Erin. I might just try it too. Thanks!!

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    Melanie Gibson

    December 27, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I cut out sugar and flour a few years ago – I don’t remember all the details, but I know for a couple of weeks I was cranky until my body adjusted to it. At the time my motivation to be thinner and feel better all over was greater than my desire to pig out on cookies and ice cream. Occasionally though, I do go ahead and give myself permission to indulge in the sweet stuff, like over the holidays when I had dinner with my parents or when I was at someone’s house and they had baked some special goodies. It’s amazing to me how much of a difference it makes when I do that – I lie in bed at night after I have some of the “hard” stuff and listen to my innards making strange sounds, I retain water for the next few days, and my skin starts to break out. There are some really great sugar substitutes available now – Swerve makes both a granular and a confectioners’ form of erythritol sweetener that measures just like sugar. It is a sugar alcohol and therefore not a natural substance, but you don’t have to fret about it adding a ton of extra calories to whatever you are having. And as far as sugar alcohols go that is the mildest one – the one they always add to the so-called diabetic friendly treats in maltitol, and it is notorious for causing digestive upsets like gas and diarrhea. I’ve found a lot of both sweet and savory recipes on ketogenic channels – I am not as obsessed with counting my macros, especially the carbohydrate ones, as some of the devotees are, but it is nice to know that I can still play to my heart’s content in the kitchen and not have it show up on my thighs. The other interesting things are that I am not as hungry all the time since I cut out sugar (that addiction thing, wanting a fix every few hours) and I notice how overly sweet most things are.

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    December 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I am joining you going sugar free, I am going to try and get some coconut sugar for my morning coffee, but will probably find going without wine at the weekend harder ( think that is my main sugar intake!) I know I can do and am really looking forward to seeing how it makes me feel.

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    Amy R

    December 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I love the idea! What a great way to start the New Year with a resolution that puts taking care of yourself first. We all get so busy during the year we forget to make time to do something good for ourselves. I’m going to join you with the January resolution and set a good habit to stick with through out the year!

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    December 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I started making my own “chocolate.” Just melt together coconut oil, peanut butter (optional but highly recommend 😉 cocoa or cacao powder and if you like a tiny bit of sweetener of your choice-maple syrup, coconut sugar etc. Then I mix in cashews and pumpkin seeds and freeze until hardened. The last time I made it I poured it over cut up banana and froze it together, soooo good.

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    December 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I think something else important to making a healthy habit stick is to want it (or the results). If you are trying to do something because you “should” chances are you’ll have a harder time than if you do something because you really, really want what your goal is. And having a visual reminder of that goal for when they going gets tough helps too – or a planned reward once the goal is attained.

  7. It’s been a week – Embrace your Darkness

    January 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    […] the time I told you about my sugar addiction? Well not long after Erin Motz from Bad Yogi made a Q&A about creating new habits and going sugar free for all of January. As she claims to do it for the […]

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