Got A New Year’s Resolution?
Good job–you’re already 10x more likely to improve than someone without a resolution.
Now, supercharge your success with these 3 simple concepts!
Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution to play more guitar, make new friends, eat healthier, or otherwise become more of the you who you want to be?
I hope so, because the Wall Street Journal reports that people who make New Year’s resolutions are ten times more likely to make lasting behavior changes than people who want to make changes but don’t actually make a resolution.
And the even better news is that you can improve your chances of success even more with 3 simple yet extremely powerful insights.
Step 1. Make it concrete! The number one mistake people make when setting resolutions is to count on future willpower that might not be there when you need it. Research shows that you maximize success with a concrete structure for your desired behavior.
Use somebody else’s existing concrete structure. Want to learn a language, play an instrument or meet more people? Commit to a concrete process by signing up for weekly classes or joining a book group. Then, just show up and follow the structure!
- Create your own concrete structure. Want to practice or eat differently? Make a specific strategy, like “I will leave my guitar out, and will practice immediately after I eat dinner” or “When I go shopping I will never buy chips and ice cream, so they won’t be available if I’m feeling sad at 11:53pm!” Then, follow the structure!
Step 2. Make it social! We are social animals–so enlist the support of others, whether it’s a professional coach, a family member, a friend or a support group.
- Find companions for your journey!Regular practice sessions with a friend, enrolling in a class, or even just telling your roommate that you plan to practice guitar every weekend will all help you be more successful.
- Level up! Join a tribe of people who are already doing what you want to do–that could mean joining a Meetup or gym, signing up for Rock Band Jams to be exposed to better players, or getting a coach or teacher who you can model yourself on.
Step 3. Expect setbacks! This is KEY. Psychologists say that people who fail at resolutions tend to criticize or blame themselves for slip-ups, but successful resolution-keepers expect occasional setbacks and quickly get back on track. If you set a goal of playing guitar daily and you miss a few days, you still have hundreds and thousand of days left during which you can play guitar.
- Plan ahead for setbacks. Create “if-then” statements ahead of time to help you get back on track, like “If I miss a class, then I will arrange a make-up lesson” or “If I eat an entire Carrot Cake, then the next day I will get right back to my eating plan.”
- And please, please don’t forget this important step: Be kind to yourself! Give yourself LOTS of well deserved pats on the back for every time you practice, get to class, etc, and if you do get off track remember that your intentions are good and that over time, you will succeed as long as you stick with your concrete process.
Good luck and on to greatness in 2019!
Founder, NYC Guitar School