Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders The Secret to Crushing Your New Year’s Resolutions

The Secret to Crushing Your New Year’s Resolutions

So you’ve drafted some New Year’s resolutions for 2016.

Maybe you’re already wondering whether you’re actually going to hit them or not.

Why is that so many of us set out to accomplish something but fail to do as much as we had hoped?

The answer is simpler than you think.

It involves a dynamic that few people talk about. But once you see it, things can begin to change. Radically.

The principle?

If you don’t like the results you get, change the pattern that you’ve set.

Let me explain.

You Encounter This Problem Every Time You Start Something New

Let’s say you get a new phone. Or a new car.

Here’s what happens. At least it happens to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you as well:

The way you learn to use a device in the first 10 days is essentially the way you use it for the rest of its life.

And as a result, you’ll leave 90 percent of its potential—or more—untapped. 

Here’s what I’ve discovered about myself. Whenever I get a new piece of technology, I try to familiarize myself with it.

More accurately, I try to “domesticate” it—to move it from an unknown to a known and controllable entity in a short span of time.

I don’t naturally try out its maximum capacity.

I simply find a few cool features and try to get it to behave in a predictable way.

Sound familiar?

Almost everyone does it.

As a result, within about 10 days, all the experimentation is gone.

We tell ourselves that we’ve mastered it. But we haven’t.

Our need for predictability kills our curiosity and innovation.

And that’s why your New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve placed some new goals into a predictable system, and you stop innovating on how to make your system support your goals.

The only way to change that is through sustained experimentation.