096 – A New Look at Resolutions

WELCOME TO 2021!!!

And to kick off another year of podcasting I thought I’d take a look at that age old tradition of making New Years Resolutions…..or rather why you shouldn’t bother.

I wanted to look at why soooo many people fail their resolutions and an alternative method that I use and you might find more successful!

Mentioned is a previous episode that you can find right here: What SMART Goals are DUMB

Keep Occupied


Episode Transcript

00:00:00 – 00:05:11

Hi and welcome to 20 21. You made it congratulations that alone after last year is a massive success month. So Props to you, but are you one of the 74% of people that is thinking of setting some New Year’s resolutions? Well, let’s have a chat and make sure that you’re not part of the eighty percent of people who don’t usually succeed with said resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions we’ve all heard of them most of us have probably sat them at one point or another very few of us have actually succeeded in completing any of the resolutions that we set but why is that and what can we do or what can we drive it’s a little bit different to make sure that we are actually progressing along this journey of self improvement that we are self-imposing on ourselves every 1st of January So it’s important to sort of know that despite 74% roughly in the US of people wanting to set nice resolutions this still 80ish percent of those people that are going to fail them and that’s a massive fail rate, which makes you wonder like why I’m not doing it. What is the purpose we All have these things in us or about us or around us that we want to change that we want to improve sometimes. It’s health-related. Sometimes it’s career-related. Sometimes it’s money related. But every single person has something that they would love to improve upon in that lives. Now for some reason it’s a it seems to be a cultural thing. We’ve been brought up with this belief that the start of the new year is this magical time, when all of a sudden boom, we can start fresh start clean everything that we’ve sort of patterned and built up to that point no longer affects us and we can only choose what we’re going to change or what we’re going to do better at in the new year. It all sounds wonderful on paper and I wish I could tell you that that’s exactly how it worked. But unfortunately, we can’t instantly regained right all of our patterns in our history at the the tick of The Twelve o’clock. Unfortunately, it would be much easier if we could change now for most people the majority of their New Year’s resolutions tend to be health-related seconded by self-improvement type goals off. It’s interesting that. The younger generation so jensy is much higher percentage of them actually wanting to or anticipating setting New Year’s resolutions. And as you go through the generations towards the older Generations the Baby Boomers and so on that gradually gets less and less and I’m only predict or I can only sort of guess that that’s because they failed a number of times during their younger years wage at actually completing some of these resolutions and that Honda wears on you. I would imagine so down baby boomers where it’s sort of only about 60% of people are going to set New Year’s resolutions for 20 21 Jen’s. He’s offered that 92% So there’s a massive difference dead. They just young and fresh and hasn’t been haven’t had the life beaten out of them yet. So that’s quite interesting. one of the one of the reasons that it’s I guess hypothesized that resolutions don’t necessarily work for the vast majority of people.

00:05:11 – 00:10:50

Is it there there’s a broad it’s I want to improve my health. I want to make more money or be better better manage my money maybe off the really broad. There’s no guidance. There’s no reflection on what the actual issues regarding that are or anything like that. And yes, we know as though T’s that wage. Generally what you would do. If you came across a client with said resolution or goal that you would then go through and break it down and turn it own no manageable steps, but unfortunately the I guess the culture around New Year’s resolution isn’t to do that. It’s just Going to improve my health New Year comes around and boom will buy gym membership for the year and we’ll go for days and waste the rest of it off. What can we actually do? Like, why are we setting these big wish statements? I I think that one of the reasons that that fails is just abroad but sometimes they’re also somewhat Out Of Reach for that point in time for the person which isn’t a bad thing off. I’ll get to that scene. It’s not a bad thing. But because there’s no breakdown of that goal. We don’t know we don’t know that okay. I don’t actually have the skillset yet to be able to complete this resolution. So how am I actually going to do it? Skill sets such as discipline or willpower, which I’m sure many of you will attest really really important when it comes to setting things like exercise goals, like going to the gym or nutrition goals, like, you know, eating healthy eating more vegetables, whatever your goal might be the the soft skills of discipline and willpower a massive and probably the one thing that gets overlooked every single time. Those of you who have listened to this podcast for a very long time now may recall me doing an episode way back. Like eighty Nine episodes episode 7 about smart goal. And I’m going to touch on a little bit of that now while we’re discussing this so one like I said earlier one of the things the needs to happen if someone’s going to make this sort of life-changing decision is it needs to be broken down? It can’t just sit there as this massive on a pedestal life-altering a call on its own and expect to be completed expect to be engaged in and expect to actually happen. So we need to break down now what most people’s defaults would be would be to break it down into smaller goals and I would Hazard a guess that ninety percent of them would recommend writing them are smart goals Now interesting enough. I spoke about in that episode that the sort of the actual purpose of smart goals and what they’re best suited for home. So I spoke about how they are best suited to do things that you already know you can do but you want to be able to do them with more efficiency and speed and efficiency and teamwork if it’s a big group thing that kind of thing. So there are actually things that smart goals may help with and if your resolution is something that you’ve done before or something that you are hundred percent know you can do then there’s the potential that smart goals may actually help you achieve that but given that we seem to be relying on the magic power of January 1st. I’m going to assume for the rest of this episode that wage You’re actually wanting to change about yourself is something that you either have never attempted before or have never attempted successfully before faith in that that tends to be where most people put their wish list for things that they would like to improve about themselves. So I’m not going to look at smart goals as a valid a valid method of achieving these resolutions, but if you would like to jump back to episode info Link in the show notes if you want to have a listen and hear about those So one method that I’ve been using for a number of years now and I believe it was Melinda Gates Bill Gates as wife who I first heard about it in an article where she was being interviewed was too choosy a word or I’ve sort of wage isn’t it to a phrase for the for the upcoming year? So rather than picking something, you know, I guess a negative thing.

00:10:50 – 00:15:14

Generally. That’s the thing that we want to change event as well as is the negative. So what we perceive is the negatives so rather than starting the year off looking at the negatives and what we don’t like about ourselves. I choose a word or a phrase that I want to essentially live that year by and what happens is I don’t for me personally. I don’t tend to set very hard specific job. Dolls of round achieving that it’s simply making me aware of when opportunities around that word or phrase present themselves so that I’m ready to dive into them. So for example, a couple of years ago, I had all the words that I chose was minimalism. So whenever I was looking at purchasing things whenever I was say cleaning out a cupboard in my in my house and my office minimalism was my focus and because it was something that I had been thinking about I had been researching about I had it sort of front of mind it made it very easy for me to incorporate that into any decisions that I’m day-to-day. I ended up clearing out a lot of the Clutter that you know, most people just have rubbish stored not rubbish rubbish, but like useless app Things that I’ve haven’t looked at in years or used in years stored in drawers and cupboards all over the house. I managed to get rid of part of that stuff. I had recently not been the greatest with money but focusing on minimalism and focusing on minimalism when I was actually purchasing things made a massive impact on my decision making and that sort of thing. So another year last year. In fact 2019 my phrase for that year was dead choose adventure ordinance our new adventures. So what I wanted was I had a friend a very good friend who had moved to my city for 12 months and in showing her around and doing all the touristy type things when she first arrived it sort of showed me how little I had actually done in my local area code. I I chose that particular phrase because I wanted to actually get out and do new things. I found that at that point in time. I was very much in my life. Very comfort zone padded like a comfort zone I guess and would not really straight out of it very much and not found that I was sort of missing out on all these random opportunities and trying new things. So my city has a lot of different sort of cross cultural events and that kind of thing stuff that I never ever would have even considered going by my all before but because the the new adventure I guess Monica was front of mind for me that year I went to all sorts of things like art shows and light shows in park. And brass band concerts in Parks more like a lot of art stuff. Actually now that I think about it a lot more camping trips in a lot more would probably a lot more restaurants that sort of thing. So whenever an opportunity would present itself for something that I’d never done before my initial reaction was to say yes, other than it’s not really my thing if I didn’t like it afterwards so be it but there was a lot of things like for example, like a brass band concert in a park definitely not usually something I would choose to do, but I’m really glad that I forced myself into it essentially because it was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed with some really good friends and the music was really relaxing and kind of cool and it was just, you know little slang on the grass under a tree with this is obviously pretty covid-19.

00:15:15 – 00:20:03

People listening to music and it was an amazing experience something that I wouldn’t have done before that. So that’s how I would work with the phrase or the word of the year. So My 2021 if you follow me on instant, you will have seen a few days ago. I posted at my 2021 off phrase that I am going to live by Thursday. So to speak is genuine connection. I think that this year has made everyone very very acutely aware of their social connections and how to make n them walk through difficult circumstance, but it’s also probably made you realize one how fragile people can be 20 21 has had a mass. Impact on on a lot of people’s mental health including my eye, which I have posted about not too long ago and I might throw that link in the show notes. If you are getting my little girl twenty mental health story, but I think a lot of the issues that arose for many of the people that I spoke with boiled down to connection and either lack of connection or you know, finally coming to the realization that some of the connections that they had weren’t as genuine as they may have believed or any number of different reasons, but it all sort of boiled down to connection and support and and consequently like things like support kind of thing. So my Guanica for next year for twenty or four this year. Sorry, 20 21. I am recording this on New Year’s Eve in the afternoon. So it won’t be twenty-twenty for much longer. But by the time you hear this it will be twenty twenty-one. Yeah, my my word to learn more my phrase to live by for 20 21 is going to be genuine connection and what I’m meaning by that is not Messenger not WhatsApp not any of that like at bare minimum Voice next Thursday. Would be like video but ideally face-to-face face-to-face connections are something that a lot of people have been missing out on this year and continue to in different parts of the world, I completely understand if you know, you might be a bit annoyed at me suggesting some of these things if you’re not currently able to do that in your part of the world, but hang in there it will happen again, you will be able to make those face-to-face connections, but that’s why I set out like a spectrum so you can try to ignore I don’t I I find it very difficult to make really really genuine connections over text cuz there’s so much of communication that’s lost in that but voyage. Minimum video second face-to-face is the gold standard for me next year this year this year going to get used to saying that so that’s what I’m doing this year. So what how I’m going to actually sort of break that down not using smart goals, obviously as I said earlier, but there’s a few things and I’ve met took them off and on throughout the last two and half years of this podcast, but the first thing is when you’re first starting out with something like this that can be quite a large is you want to try to set yourself up to guarantee success. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean that we want to sort of break down this long large thing into smaller more manageable parts. That should be no surprise to anyone. That’s what we do in a variety of ways through Thursday. Clinical practice we grade activities, etc, etc, etc. How I’m going to do that is probably a little bit different to most so my method of doing that is I’m not going to have a really structured rigid plan of I can achieve this this week and that that next week and that the week after excetera.

00:20:03 – 00:25:15

What I’m going to do is say week one or I’m probably month-to-month actually throughout the year. So say for January, what is the minimum the absolute minimum thing that I can make sure that I can achieve with regards to genuine connection. For that month the what is the smallest thing? What is the minimum that I can 100% guarantee that I can do? So it might be I’m going to make a video call with one of my friends that I haven’t spoken to in quite some time just one. That’s the minimum I can do more than that. I can a different person every day if I want to but my minimum standard is what I want to actually set when you’ve done that. So for February like the next month Okay, cool. I was able to do that. I actually rang three people. That’s awesome. So what’s going to be the minimum standard that I can a hundred percent guarantee that I’m going to be able to achieve in February while I know that you know, February is going to be a really busy month for me University goes back. I’ll start studying again. It’s going to be pretty full-on. I don’t know if I could do more than I did last month. So I reckon the minimum I can do cuz I managed to list a month pretty good. I’m going to do three. So the same and you know, I might do for I might only do the three. That’s okay same again. You repeat process each month or each week if you want to if you want to set an eagles, but I just know monthly works for that kind of thing because I’m weak so busy some weeks of quiet some weeks. You have more time than weeks. You just flat-out. So that’s how I would break that down using the minimum that I can 100% get guarantee that I can achieve. So you get a hundred percent successful through the whole process. I don’t like setting it up. Like at the start of the year, like I’m not going to go I’m going to do two calls this month three calls next month for calls a month after blah blah blah. I think that’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to a chevening success with these resolutions. The other thing I would encourage you and I know this kind of goes against what I’ve spoken about so far is don’t wait for a date and I’m not talking about it than a day off and talking about our habit of Always setting a date in the future that we’re going to Change Behavior. So you know New Year’s resolution is a perfect example. Don’t wait for January 1st. If it’s something that you genuinely want to work on start at straight away if you miss January 1st, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start on January 13th or February 19th or whatever. Choose a phrase choose at all choose anything but you don’t have to wait for a date. The classic one is are going to start dieting Monday know if it’s Thursday starting now start to age. I start it right this moment right now and pick a phrase. It might be I’m going to eat more vegetable something real simple like that or you know, I’m going to resist dessert like depending on what your nutritional crutch might be. So nice cheese, whatever the minimum you can 100% guarantee. For that week for that month. Whatever time. You’re using is fine, but don’t wait when we set a future date for this kind of thing. What we end up doing is I think surely prolonging the time that we can either forget or we just don’t or hardwire the the goal or the resolution into our brain. So for example with my phrase if I was going to go, yep, okay genuine connection. I’m going to start on the 20th of January. That’s another like three weeks away that I’m not thinking about it and it’s not front of mind for me and there’s a good chance to get to January 20th, and I’m not even going to realize and it’ll end up being like February 4th before I are white I was going to do that and then I’ll stop or I’ll just forget completely and never start which also happens.

00:25:16 – 00:28:58

You’re introducing more moving parts to a machine that doesn’t need it off and we all know that the more moving Parts the more chance of things breaking so Why especially if it’s a behavior change and not something like, you know, I’m going to save for a holiday or I’m going to buy a house or whatever where you actually need like life. You’re going to buy a house. I need to get an appointment the appointments not for four weeks. That’s a bit different. You set the appointment you just waiting on to someone else if it’s something in your control don’t wait. To-do lists as this one reason what to-do lists and that kind of thing. I know they work for ninety percent of people but they’re never work for me because I spend ninety percent of my time. I’m like setting up a to-do list and realizing what’s on the list and working out how I’m going to do each step and then I have missed deadlines and I’m behind and I never actually sort of get through the actual list. So the the not something against similar to a smart goals. They’re not suitable for every single person in every single situation. And I know I’m I’m quite odd with regards to that but is what it is, so don’t wait for the date. So that’s my little guess wrap it out. New Year’s resolutions and the fact that you don’t need them you can start a change your behavior change whenever you want and they don’t use the traditional cultural like magic January 1st date to think that it’s going to fix all of your problems because the only thing that’s going to fix your problems is you dead. So good luck with them. I’d be very keen to hear what you what your phrases if you’re going to use this this for ma’am that I’ve used successfully. Well that I really enjoy using be really Keen to hear like what what what are your phrases? What’s your what’s going to be your word of twenty Twenty-One. So drop it off comment on social media. Shoot me an email should be a message. Whatever you want. Give me a voicemail if you want on occupied podcast.com. But yeah, let me know. What’s what’s going to be your home you. your phrase or your word for 20 21 once again thanks so much for joining this occupied Community gotten of the year I’m aiming to improve things and try and improve my audio quality I’m going to keep trying to get some amazing guess some amazing topics off and we’re gonna have a look and see if we can drop some extra resources outside of the podcast at some point this year a little side project but I’ll keep that one a bit of a secret for now other than that thanks so much for listening and happy New Year