The Evil 3-Letter Word Of New Years Resolutions

Everybody’s blathering about New Years resolutions.

Usually the next thing out of their mouth is “And most people abandon them by mid-February.” Somebody else chimes in and says, “Aw, I just don’t make ’em.”

New Years Resolutions work pretty well for me. Why?

Because when I make resolutions, I don’t try. I change the SYSTEM.

If you want to exercise more this year, move your office to the attic. Since the restroom is on the main floor, now six times a day you’re climbing up and down the stairs.

If you want to take more walks, let your neighbor borrow your car a few days a week so you HAVE to walk to the convenience store instead of drive. Or join a volleyball team where everyone expects you to show up every week.

That’s easily worth a few pounds, isn’t it?

Those are system changes to your environment. They are far more effective than resolutions to add a new, completely optional habit. (Like rolling out of bed and going to the gym at 6am in freezing weather. Who do you think you’re kidding anyway?)

Notice the difference between “try harder” and System Change:

Will Power: “I’m going to try to waste less time answering emails this year.”

System Change: “I’m turning over 3/4ths of my inbox to a Virtual Assistant.”

Will Power: “I’m going to try harder not to get angry with my kids.”

System Change: “I know I’ve got a grudge against my dad and I’ve been taking it out on my kids for years. I’m going to clean out the closet and forgive my dad, so the original impulse goes away.”

Will Power: “I’m going to try harder to get less distracted with social media this year.”

System Change: “I’m going to set my web browser so I ALWAYS have to manually log into Facebook and enter my password, every single time.”

Will Power: “I’m going to try to implement more of my business education this year.”

System Change: “I’m going to make myself accountable to a friend or the instructor to do my homework.”

See that word try? It’s a dirty three-letter word. Yes, you can try harder but we all have a finite amount of energy and will power to expend. Systems only require the initial willpower it takes to put them in place.

Resolutions based on “try” fail 80% of the time.

Resolutions based on changing the system succeed 80% of the time.

The income you make in 2013 and 2015 and 2020 will naturally follow the relationships you cultivate and the mentors you surround yourself with. Your thoughts and aspirations are shaped by the environment which you have systemically built around yourself.

The gains you make in 2013 will be because of the systems and structure you live in every day.

You want 2013 to be the best year ever? Make January about changing the systems you live in every day, you won’t have to try. You will habitually do and it will be easy.

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