Resolutions, I Think I Get It Now

I’m so glad I started this blog. Really. I have to thank you. Why? Because it changed so many things for me: I am helping people here, so each time I am confronted to a “problem”, I see things differently. If I’m supposed to help people, how come I can’t help myself? That’s why I decided to analyze my own resolutions in a different way this year.

Old Approach

Here is what I do typically every year:

What is most important to me?
My family.

How can I give them the best of me?
By being available, by taking care of them, by keeping all of us in good health, as long as possible.

How can I take care of my health?
First by losing weight.

How can I increase quality time with my wife and children?
By being more productive in order to free up time for them while doing all I have to do.

So I end up with lame New Year’s resolutions such as:

  • Lose weight…
  • Be kind…
  • Be more productive…

Guess how long these resolutions will last 🙁
Usually 2 weeks, until reality strikes back.

My New Approach to Resolutions

Each time I talk to people met through my blog, I give them my best advice because most of the time it’s about ephedrine and weight loss, and I always suggest to consider the third pillar that most people underestimate: support!
For the first two pillars, Eat Less and Move More, I have a lot of things to tell, because I’m on these topics since years. But for support you need something personal, starting with your family and friends, then a coach or a weight loss buddy, and of course I can’t play that role.

So my “Aha!” moment this year has been: “why not applying this “get support” advice to yourself regarding New Year’s resolutions?

That’s what I did. I went to close friends who are psychologists and asked them for support:

  • What do they think about New Year’s resolutions?
  • Why don’t we stick at them more than 2 weeks?
  • What could I do to have more success this year and at least achieve *one* goal

Talking To The Pros

After long (boring) discussions, I had the feeling I was at the same point: blah blah “volition”, blah blah “willpower”, blah blah blah…
Finally they told me something I could understand: you need a basic knowledge if you want to change. Good things do not happen magically because you did a list 😉
You need a “toolbox”. A mental toolbox. First you learn what are these tools, what they are for, when to use them. Then you need some basic training with these tools, in real situations. Then more advanced training. And after a while, you master them and finally you fix your problems “naturally”, where other people get stuck over and over, just as you were.. before!

So I asked them where to start and they recommended that I learn some academic knowledge from real experts. And now I am happy to share it with you: here is a great video from Dr. Mike Evans, from the University of Toronto. I like it a lot:

You will see a study showing that you have way more “chance” to be successful if you do your resolutions at New Year’s: 41% of us do New Year’s resolutions (mainly weight loss) but those who initiate their change at another time than New Year’s have only a 4% success rate after 6 months, compared to 46% for those who made their commitment at New Year’s!

Later in the video you will learn key knowledge about goal setting. Don’t miss it.

Lessons Learned

I went back to my New Year’s resolutions with different angles.

  • “Zoom out” to have the global picture: in my case, Family, Health and Time
  • “Zoom in” to focus on each one: that’s what I was missing until now and it has to do with goal setting

How can I translate ideal goals into practical changes?
Well, first by acknowledging the difference, by putting them down in writing, and by choosing the first 3 steps (actions) to start with. By doing so I accept that it’s not perfect but better than nothing, a first step in the right direction.

Finally I did this nice picture to keep it in mind: see how serious I am now? I can already feel a change 😉

Changing New Year's Resolutions To Change Myself

That’s all for now. I will test some tips about changing habits for the next post 🙂
Meanwhile, feel free to share your own experience below!

Keep in touch,
Mike

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