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The Dynamics of a Resolution

The Dynamics of a Resolution

We all have goals to achieve and behavioral changes we want to implement. Making the resolution is the easy part. The implementation and the work that is to be put in daily is the real challenge.

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Why Resolutions Fail
  • Getting motivated by negative emotions like fear or regret.
  • A sudden influx of motivation followed by giving up in the first instance of a setback ("All or Nothing" approach).
  • Having a big and unattainable resolution.
  • Not being in terms with the concept of failure.
  • Not committing fully to the process.
Social Pressure

New research suggests we are less prone to keep working on our goals after we publicize them. This is because we may end up talking about our goals and celebrating our success prematurely rather than implementing them.

Social Pressure makes us fearful, as we can feel afraid of appearing inept. This negative mindset does not work well where we need daily work.

Commitment Device

A commitment device is a method to lock yourself into behavior modification by associating it with a reward or a punishment.

Example: Limiting or blocking your social media or TV in case you miss your goal.

Soft Commitments

The commitment devices that seem to work better than others are the ones that are like gentle reminders and are not having negative emotions (like fear) attached to them.

A playful commitment device that isn't hard to accomplish nudges us into being successful at our goal.

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Fighting Your Resistance To Change

Developing new ways of thinking initially creates significant psychological discomfort. But to persevere you have to recognize that you will naturally want to hold onto your own personal status quo.

To avoid the natural resistance, re-frame the challenge into something you gain and learn.

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IDEAS

Constantly checking social media

This behavior is harmful mostly because switching context kills your productivity, so even a simple social media check while working on a task can eat up 20–80% of your productive time.

To change this, consider how keeping up with social media fits into your larger values and use the necessary tools to support your new behavior.

The Stages of Change
  1. Precontemplation: Not ready. Not now.
  2. Contemplation: Maybe soon — thinking about it.
  3. Preparation: Ready, taking small steps.
  4. Action: Doing the healthy behavior.
  5. Maintenance: Keeping on.
  6. Termination: Change fully integrated. Not going back.