Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Few Keys To Keeping Your Resolutions

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha

I am currently reading the book “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

It is my hope that this book will provide some insight into why I have never been able to stick to any of my New Year’s resolutions, while providing me the golden knowledge of how I can suddenly become an expert on transformation.   

From what I have read so far (only a few chapters), 3 things are needed for change to be effective:

  1. You need to create the right environment.   This means removing temptation, adding motivations, surrounding yourself with successful, encouraging people etc. 
  2. You need to have a plan
a.       Be specific, be realistic
b.      Break the long term vision into short achievable goals
c.       Write it down
d.      Include a back-up plan for handling any potential setbacks

      3.   You need to have the right attitude
a.       Make the reason for the change an emotional one.   People are most successful when they have a strong emotion behind their actions.
b.      Make it fun
c.       Reward yourself for little victories. 

This seems quite simplistic, I know.  It is just the beginning of the book and I will definitely provide more information if I read anything else earth shattering. 

One other comment I found interesting was in regard to reconciling our planning brain with our emotional brain.    Some of us are great planners, but not very good doers.   Some of us jump in head first without a viable plan.   Recognize your tendency and adjust before you begin!     

I also cannot emphasize enough that you need a contingency plan.   How will you respond if you have a set back?   My suggestion is that you plan well for being imperfect.  Be easy on yourself.   Begin again. 

Good luck to you whatever your resolution may be!  

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