Learn the violin, take up Spanish, go to the gym three times a week, or spend three hours every morning from 5 a.m. on transcendental meditation?
What was your New Year’s resolution? If you have already tripped up then don’t fret you are with the majority. Some studies point to an 88% fail rate.
We like resolutions because they are loaded with the concept of self-improvement. They represent some mythical potential being that is cleverer, fitter or wiser. They are the sort of lifestyle choices that a Scandinavian Architect with a black roll neck adopts effortlessly.
Every year at TCC we wake a little worse for wear on the 1st of January and we decide that here is a new dawn. We set a goal or objective. It is however (this will not be a revelation) difficult to live up to our early optimism.
On a logical level we can make a good case for the personal discipline but humans are not logical. There are countless books on what you might call the anti-logic of the human brain Switch , Thinking, Fast and Slow, and Nudge, are just a few. The basic message is that if you want to be a multi talented Scandinavian Architect you need to really want it at a visceral level and it also helps if the things that are in your way help you to make easy choices on the road.
What does this mean for your aim to go to the gym three times a week?
Well if we take the road first: You need to make it smaller for a start – three times a week for a year or the rest of your life sounds daunting so how about say going to the gym 10 times in a month. Success is only 10 visits away. Make it social, some of us don’t like people and that is fine, but if you get involved with others you start to build loyalty and obligation (don’t go with people, who want to have a few pints after the gym, this is the wrong kind of habit). Build reminders on the way, the night before pack your gym bag and put it on the driver’s seat or block the front door with it, when you feel less like it at 6 am you have a reminder that you wanted to do it.
What about the visceral stuff, well apart from being a very good word, it is about what motivates you at a gut level. If you can work that out then framing your resolution in a way that appeals to the gut can really make you one of the 12 %. If you want to work out what really gets you at the gut level then try our Values Survey – this time next year you’ll just be coming back from the gym.