I start hearing stories from friends who are beating themselves up about their failed New Years resolutions. Who fell off the diet, who went back to sugar, who has already stopped going to the gym after a brief time of 5 days a week, who can’t stop smoking, who wanted to spend more quality time with family. It’s painful really. And avoidable really.
I tried to talk with them before they started down this path. And they did politely listen. I suppose I should feel a certain smug “I told you so” glory – yet no such thing. Their angst prompts me to get better at communicating the truths I know about how to change behaviors. And, believe me, I get it. It hurts to fail at something you really thought you could do and had announced prematurely to so many people. How many times I wished I had kept my own mouth shut about some goal before its time.
When consoling my disenchanted friends and colleagues, the first thing I want them to know is that they haven’t done anything wrong. They didn’t fail because they are weak or lazy. They failed because they don’t have the right model for making change. Period.
Most people set big goals and hope for grandiose results. This is the first ingredient in the recipe for failure. Start instead with small, manageable behaviors, and pick just one. Our research has shown that, despite what the multi-taskers tell you, working on two or more tasks at a time ends in doing none of them well.
When you want to finish a project, stop fighting with your spouse, manage stress, be more adaptable or the one everybody wants to do – lose weight, you have to use the right model to get to the finish line and not just to January 15th.
Helping people make change simply, successfully and as painlessly as possible is what I do for a living. I want folks to be successful at making change with a model that really works. And for sure, I don’t want to hear this litany from my loved ones again next January. You’ve got one year starting right now….
Check out my video! Change Is A Pain