Alexis Monville (en)

How to keep up with your 2019 resolutions!

Last year, I opened a brand new gym club on January 2nd! That was an immediate success with thousands of people showing up every day! At the beginning of February, I remodeled the place into a cocktail bar to satisfy the needs of my customers…

Yes, it is a joke. But, what makes keeping up with our resolutions so hard?

Kelly McGonigal has an answer to that question. Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford University psychologist, taught the course “The Science of Willpower” for years, and she also published a book, The Willpower Instinct, that explains the science of self-control and how it can be improved.

We don’t keep up with our resolutions because we don’t pick the right ones for us. We choose things that we don’t want to do. Our “longer-term self” and our “shorter-term self” conflict the next day. We skip the day. We are then harsh our ourselves. It triggers guilt. Which in turn means that our “shorter-term self” seeks immediate comfort. The chances are that it finds it in the exact thing we want to stop doing or quit.

Her practical tip is to change the questions we ask ourselves. At the end of 2019, on January 1st, 2020, looking backward, what are you going to be grateful that you did? Is there a change you know that you’re going to be glad you made? What would that feel like?

The answers to those questions are better resolutions that you really want to keep.

As hope is not a strategy, you still need to put in place a system that will help you keep with that new habit. One good strategy is outsourcing some of the willpower by involving a friend or a family member to do the activity with you. Another one that I particularly like is to put a calendar in a visible place and tick the day each time you succeed. And remember, don’t be hard on yourself when you miss a day. Accept it with self-compassion and go for it the next day!

I wish you a Happy New Year with success in keeping up with your resolutions!


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