Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Science of Making Resolutions Stick

It's early January and there are three types of people thinking about New Year's resolutions. There are those who don't do them because from past experience they know they will fail. There are those who make a resolution but within weeks are back to their old habits. And there are those who make resolutions and are able to keep them.

While it has not always been the case, for 2014 I count myself in the category of those that kept resolutions. Each year I set up one goal in each of four areas: physical, intellectual, emotional/social, and spiritual.  An easy way to remember them is by the acronym PIES.

These areas of focus come from the only scripture we have about Jesus from the time he was 12 to his ministry at 30 in Luke 2:52: "And Jesus grew in wisdom (intellectual) and stature (physical), and in favor with God (spiritual) and man (emotional/social)."

In 2014 my accomplished goals were to attend the gym 2-3 times a week (P), do a blog entry at least once a week (I), Send a inspirations quote text message to family members each day (E), and read scriptures with my teenage children each day (S).

Within the past few years studies on behavior and habits have discovered that there is a reason why some people are able to make changes while most are not. Once you understand the science of behavior change you can set up a system to make resolutions that will succeed.

Scott Adams, who draws Dilbert, made this very astute observation: "Losers have goals. Winners have systems."

To figure out the secrets of making resolutions that work, I recommend people read the following books:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson

Seriously, if there are things you want to change about your life, but have been worried that you would not be able to follow through, these books will teach you the systems you need to achieve resolution success.

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