December 14, 2010

Now's Time to Start Thinking of those New Year's Resolutions

Yes, even though we have yet to get through Christmas, if you are going to proclaim a resolution., you better get planning for success!  It is repeatedly shown, in the research, that those that plan for both short term and long term action are waaaaaay more successful than those that don't. So instead of doing the same old thing (creating a list of changes you will make in the new year only to fall back into old behaviours) why not make this change for life?

I have been reading a fabulous book (Switch) by Dan and Chip Heath and it has re-motivated me to think differently about change ('cause God knows what we [I am] are doing isn't working very well). So I ask you to consider the following questions. Do you agree or disagree?

1. You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that.
2. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.
3. You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can't really be changed.
4. You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.
(Heath & Heath, 2009)

If you agree with 1 and 3 you may have a "fixed" mindset. Conversely, if you agree with 2 and 4, you may have more of a "growth" mindset.  Which one will fair better with change and the failure that comes with the process? You guessed it....those with the "growth" mindset.  These people tend to see learning experiences in their set backs and less likely to jump ship.

In addition to this, Heath & Heath present a very interesting model of change that I have witnessed over and over again (in real life). If you could imagine a really big U. The highest tip on the left is "hope". Most participants of any new weight loss or fitness program are vibrating with excitement and hope in the beginning. The highest point on the right side of the U represents "confidence". Once the behaviour has been changed (even short term) a sense of confidence is felt about continuing the chosen behaviour. The low points in between represents "insight" (brilliant!!!!). Insight, if one leans towards the "growth" mindset, only comes with failed attempts. Many suggest that it takes approximately nine tries to successfully change a behaviour.  Without the insights produced by failures, success or confidence will not be reached.

Mmmmmmmm.....very insightful. So that's all I got for now. I just wanted to plant the seed just in case you are going to make some goals for 2011. I still think it is a great time for change...but it isn't as easy as we all think it is (me included). If you are truly ready, take it seriously and plan (in great detail) what is it and how you will achieve it.

Next post:  How to chisel down those goals to become Real Life Health goals (no TM).

K

PS. I successfully made caramels...but now am suffering from caramel poisoning

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