New Year’s Resolutions – Why Wait?

Our desire for a fresh start causes us to waste a lot of time waiting.  Why wait for a new year, a new month, or a new week. Tomorrow is a new beginning. Why not PLAN today – START tomorrow – and NEVER quit! A lot of people will tell us to start NOW, which isn’t bad advice if you are prone to procrastination, but research has shown that we do better when we have a plan. Research on implementation intentions suggests we will be much more likely to follow through if we have a plan. Planning can be exciting, but don’t let it turn into a form of procrastination. 

If you have a strong desire to implement a new habit, put that motivation to good use by planning when you’ll implement the new habit. Motivation not put to work is like water spilling from a leaky damn instead of being put to work by the mill. Motivation gets us started, but without a plan, we will quickly wander off course. Create an implementation intention. Decide when and where you are going to begin. Develop if-then plans. For example, your implementation intention could be to exercise for 20-minutes each morning right after waking up and drinking a glass of water. You prepare by laying your clothing out the night before and deciding what kind of exercise you are going to do. If 20-minutes feels like too much, you can start with a 5-minute commitment. Your if-then plan could be, if I oversleep or somehow miss my workout, I will exercise as soon as I get home from work. Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions – Why Wait?

CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE

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What you are going to learn:
  1. Why Habits are so Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
  2. The Three Elements of a Habit
  3. How a Better Understanding of Habits can Help Us Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
  4. A Simple Approach to Overcoming our Natural Resistance to Change
  5. Why We Often Blame our Lack of Willpower when it is usually our Lack of Commitment that is to Blame    

People often say that change is difficult, and they are correct. Change is difficult, but we are all capable of change. Our lives are continually changing, learning to drive, marriage, having children, new job responsibilities, and new technological tools. Initiation is the most challenging phase of any change because when we are learning to perform new tasks, it is mentally exhausting. Learning to perform a new activity requires our cerebral cortex (“Conscious Brain”) to do the heavy lifting.

As the new task becomes routine, the more resilient basal ganglia, (“subconscious brain’), takes over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. Our conscious brain essentially goes on autopilot, and the actions flow almost effortlessly. You undoubtedly experienced this when you were learning to drive. In the beginning, it required all of your mental focus, but now you can drive, adjust the cabin temperature, tune the radio, carry on a conversation, and heaven forbid, use your smartphone while driving.

Change is possible, but it starts with awareness. The hardest part of creating a change in behavior is just not repeating the behaviors of the past. Approximately 40 to 45% of the decisions we make are out of habit.[i] Unfortunately, these aren’t conscious decisions. These are decisions our conscious brain has delegated to the subconscious brain. Our subconscious mind controls the performance of repetitive daily activities which frees our conscious mind from making countless decisions each day, which would lead to decision fatigue and mental exhaustion. For this reason, we aren’t mindful of actions we have repeated enough times to make them habits.
Continue reading “CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE”

Five Things You Need to Know About Willpower for a Successful New Year’s Resolution

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A lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of willpower helps explain why approximately 80% of those that make a New Year’s resolution will admit defeat by February. They will look at their list and blame their lack of willpower when they should be blaming their list, and their lack of focus. No one has enough willpower for that list. Our willpower is severely limited, and every demand for self-restraint draws from a single source. Sometimes a single willpower challenge will feel like one demand too many.

Here is What You Need to Know about Willpower:

  1. All your willpower demands draw from a single inner reservoir that depletes with use.
  2. The more simultaneous demands you place on your willpower, the quicker your willpower supply will evaporate and leave you naked to temptation.
  3. Our willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day wears on.
  4. The best use of our willpower is to eliminate temptations BEFORE our willpower reserves run out, so there is nothing to indulge our desires.
  5. Habits don’t drain our willpower reserves.

Continue reading “Five Things You Need to Know About Willpower for a Successful New Year’s Resolution”

Make ONE REAL RESOLUTION this Year

This is the time of year where the word resolution is misused by millions of people. We will examine the formal definition. Next, we will look at how it is commonly applied to New Year’s Resolutions. Last, we will examine what it means to go after a goal with true resolve and how you can make this year different than any other year.

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think most people actually make resolutions. They make a list of things they would like to happen. They will usually attach a list of actions they should do to achieve it. Should is a word for the underachiever. It implies that your values aren’t in line with your actions. No one does what they should. They do what they must. They do what is in line with their true values.

That brings us to the formal definition of resolution; a firm decision to do or not to do something. The critical word in this definition is the word decision. Tony Robbins provides the best definition of the word decision.

Continue reading “Make ONE REAL RESOLUTION this Year”

THE HABIT: Week-1 (Gratitude)

What is THE HABIT? THE HABIT focuses on how you start each day; your morning routine; because how you start each day determines how you live each day. Each day is your life in microcosm. As you take control of your mornings, you’ll begin to take control of your life. No longer will you be swept-up in the current; current events, current challenges, and current obligations. You’ll become proactive instead of reactive.

How you start each day determines how you live each day!

With 2017 drawing to an end, it is a time of reflection for many people. As a result, many people will start creating New Year’s Resolutions. Many of these resolutions will involve losing weight. Unfortunately, the success rate for New Year’s Resolutions is an abysmal 8% with 80% of people quitting by February. The people that succeed have two things in common. First they make a strong commitment to achieving their goal, because they know if their reasons aren’t strong enough their excuses will be. Second, they start small. There is a lot of power in small consistent efforts.
Habits and daily rituals are the foundations on which our lives are built. We are creatures of habit. Everyone has a set of daily rituals. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll probably agree that today, is much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be a lot like today. The places you go, the people you talk to, the things you eat, the thoughts you think, the actions you take, etc. Continue reading “THE HABIT: Week-1 (Gratitude)”