I doubt this is the first piece you’ve read on 2016 New Year’s resolutions.
Every year the internet surges with reads on the topic. So I figured, hell why not? Might as well contribute. My voice matters dammit! Give me attention!!!! 😛
There’s nothing inherently wrong with New Year’s resolutions. Hell, props to anyone who decides to try to better themselves however they feel is proper. There are, however, some problems around the way most tackle these resolutions.
At any rate, here’s my two cents on why resolutions usually don’t stick.
Cent number one: Light Switch mentality
Change isn’t a light switch. Just because we decide we want change doesn’t mean we can just make it happen instantaneously. If only!
We can’t just flip a switch to make everything bright and clear. Change takes time, patience, and lots of missteps. We gotta be in it for the long haul.
“I’m going to do it right this year!” is light switch thinking. Now there’s nothing wrong with doing things correctly, depending on how we define “correct”.
If “correct” is defined as an arbitrary version of perfectionism we’ll run into some problems. We doom ourselves to fail by making perfection the only definition of success.
The brain is a complicated of machinery. It’s probably the most complicated piece of machinery on the planet, besides my microwave’s interface.
The brain is way too complicated to treat it like a light switch. It’s more like a dimmer switch, a dimmer switch that makes us solve an intricate puzzle before we make the room slightly brighter.
Change takes time and is far from linear. We need to be realistic about this to succeed.
Cent two: Doing everything all at once
Our chances of success with a new behavior vastly decrease with each component we add.
Here’s what happens:
When we attempt to change one thing at a time there is an 80% chance of success. 2 things at a time? 50% chance of success. 3 things? 20%.
That’s a huge drop-off! Now imagine working on a bajillion things at once. The odds won’t be in our favor, no matter how steadfast we may be.
Working on one reasonable behavior at a time is much more effective.
We gotta slow the hell down.
Know what you ultimately want to achieve, then pick one small thing to work on. Once that thing is easy, add another thing.
Progress is progress. It will feel slow, and that’s fine. Slow progress is progress that sticks. Slow progress ends the yo-yoing.
Resolutions fail because we try to white knuckle through them. Then on January 14th, we say fuck it, throw our hands in the air, and forget all about the resolutions we were so stoked on two weeks ago. The two week mark seems to be when our willpower reserves get tapped.
Luckily, I have a shameless plug.
As a matter of pure coincidence(I wish I was smart enough to have done this intentionally), my online coaching group will be starting on January 15. Online group coaching offers accountability and the opportunity to grow and progress as a community to keep moving forward way beyond that two week barrier.
Reserve your spot in the group here!