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PAVE Your Way to Success in 2019!

If you’re like many people then you’ll be making New Year’s resolutions and if you’re like most people you’ll break your resolutions within a week or two. According to one study, more than half the people who make resolutions are confident of achieving them, yet barely more than 10% do so.

That’s unfortunate because most resolutions are good! Here are a some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:

  • Prioritize family
  • Lose weight
  • Begin exercising
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce debt
  • Get organized
  • Stop drinking

The list is admirable so why are these goals so difficult to achieve for 9 out of 10 people? There are probably as many reasons as there are resolutions and dwelling on those reasons would not be as beneficial as giving you scientifically proven ideas that can help make 2019 different from those that came before. I’ll share an influence technique that can help you PAVE the way to success in the New Year.

In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful motivator of behavior known as the principle of consistency. This proven rule tells us people feel internal and external psychological pressure to act in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deeds, beliefs and values. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and other people perceive us in a more favorable light.

There are four simple things you can tap into in order to strengthen the power of consistency in your life. These simple ideas will help you PAVE the way to success because they’ll dramatically increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

Public – Whenever you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself and your reputation on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re doing is often enough motivation for you to follow through.

Recommendation #1 – Share your New Year’s resolution with another person, or group of people, and ask them to hold you accountable.

Active – You have to actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to yourself as some sort of secret, will lead to the same results as people who don’t make any resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their college grades. One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads, and the last group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of students increasing their grades by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were identical and poor. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials so they all had the same opportunity to better their GPA.

Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take some active steps. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn more about the changes you’re hoping to make or writing them down.

Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something – quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation will last if someone told you that you have to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your willpower will last long. Samuel Butler said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something you really want to do of your own free choice.

Effort – It was already noted that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. The more effort you expend setting up your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement, which gives you more bang for the buck! Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.”

Recommendation #4 – A little more effort, like committing pen to paper, will increase your chance for success significantly.

So to recap the four recommendations:

  • Public – Share your resolutions with others.
  • Active – Make sure to take some active steps.
  • Voluntary – Make it your goal and own it.
  • Effort – Commit pen to paper.

None of what I just shared is new but I’m guessing you may not have tried to PAVE the way to success before. If you’ve failed at your resolutions in the past then give this approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this different approach might just be your key to success in 2019. Good luck and Happy New Year’s!

 

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. His Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed 150,000 times! The course teaches you how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process. Not watched it yet? Click here to see what you’ve been missing.

 

New Year’s Resolutions – Try A New Approach

If you’re like many people then you made New Year’s resolutions and if you’re like most who did so then you’ll break your resolutions within a few days. According to one study, more than half the people who make resolutions are confident of achieving them, yet only about 10% do so. That’s amazing because most resolutions are good!

Here are a some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:

  • Spend more time with family
  • Lose weight
  • Begin exercising
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Get organized
  • Get out of debt

The list is admirable so why are these goals so difficult to achieve for 9 out of 10 people? There are probably as many reasons as there are resolutions and dwelling on those reasons would not be as beneficial as giving you scientifically proven ideas that can help make 2017 a year of positive change for you. Around this time every year I share an influence technique that can help readers PAVE the way to success in the New Year.

In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful motivator of behavior known as the principle of consistency. This proven rule tells us people feel internal and external psychological pressure to act in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deeds, beliefs and values. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and other people perceive us in a more favorable light.

There are four simple things you can tap into in order to strengthen the power of consistency in your life. These simple ideas will help you PAVE the way to success because they’ll dramatically increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

Public – Whenever you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself and your reputation on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re doing is often enough motivation for you to follow through.

Recommendation #1 – Share your New Year’s resolutions with another person, or group of people, and ask them to hold you accountable.

Active – You have to actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to yourself as some sort of secret, will lead to the same results as people who don’t make any resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their college grades. One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads, and the last group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of students increasing their grades by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were identical and poor. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials so they all had the same opportunity to better their GPA.

Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take some active steps. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn more about the changes you’re hoping to make or writing them down.

Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something – quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation will last if someone told you that you have to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your willpower will last long. Samuel Butler said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something you really want to do of your own free choice.

Effort – It was already noted that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. The more effort you expend setting up your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement, which gives you more bang for the buck! Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.”

Recommendation #4 – A little more effort, like committing pen to paper, will increase your chance for success significantly.

So to recap the four recommendations:

  • Public – Share your resolutions with others.
  • Active – Make sure to take some active steps.
  • Voluntary – Make it your goal and own it.
  • Effort – Commit pen to paper.

None of what I just shared is new. In fact, I share a variation of this post every year but I’m guessing many of you haven’t tried to PAVE the way to success before. If you’ve failed at your resolutions in the past then give this approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this different approach might just be your key to success in 2017. Good luck and Happy New Year!

PAVE the Way to Success in the New Year

If you’re like many people then you’ll be making New Year’s resolutions in a few days and if you’re like most people you’ll break your resolutions within a few days. According to one study, more than half the people who make resolutions are confident of achieving them, yet barely more than 10% do so. That’s amazing because most resolutions are good!

Here are a some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:

  • Spend more time with family
  • Lose weight
  • Begin exercising
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Get organized
  • Get out of debt

The list is admirable so why are these goals so difficult to achieve for 9 out of 10 people? There are probably as many reasons as there are resolutions and dwelling on those reasons would not be as beneficial as giving you scientifically proven ideas that can help make 2016 a year of positive change for you. Around this time every year I share an influence technique that can help readers PAVE the way to success in the New Year.

In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful motivator of behavior known as the principle of consistency. This proven rule tells us people feel internal and external psychological pressure to act in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deeds, beliefs and values. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and other people perceive us in a more favorable light.

There are four simple things you can tap into in order to strengthen the power of consistency in your life. These simple ideas will help you PAVE the way to success because they’ll dramatically increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

Public – Whenever you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself and your reputation on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re doing is often enough motivation for you to follow through.

Recommendation #1 – Share your New Year’s resolution with another person, or group of people, and ask them to hold you accountable.

Active – You have to actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to yourself as some sort of secret, will lead to the same results as people who don’t make any resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their college grades. One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads, and the last group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of students increasing their grades by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were identical and poor. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials so they all had the same opportunity to better their GPA.

Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take some active steps. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn more about the changes you’re hoping to make or writing them down.

Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something – quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation will last if someone told you that you have to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your willpower will last long. Samuel Butler said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something you really want to do of your own free choice.

Effort – It was already noted that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. The more effort you expend setting up your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement, which gives you more bang for the buck! Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.”

Recommendation #4 – A little more effort, like committing pen to paper, will increase your chance for success significantly.

So to recap the four recommendations:

  • Public – Share your resolutions with others.
  • Active – Make sure to take some active steps.
  • Voluntary – Make it your goal and own it.
  • Effort – Commit pen to paper.

None of what I just shared is new but I’m guessing many of you haven’t tried to PAVE the way to success before. If you’ve failed at your resolutions in the past then give this approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this different approach might just be your key to success in 2016. Good luck and Happy New Year’s!

PAVE the Way to Success in 2014

If you’re like many people then you’ll be making
New Year’s resolutions and if you’re like most you’ll be
breaking those same resolutions within a day or two. According to one study,
more than half the people who make resolutions are confident of achieving them,
yet barely more than one in ten do so. That’s amazingly bad because most resolutions
are good ones! Here are a few of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:

  • Spend
    more time with family
  • Lose
    weight
  • Begin
    exercising
  • Quit
    smoking
  • Quit
    drinking
  • Get
    organized
  • Get
    out of debt

The list is admirable so why are these goals so
difficult to achieve for 90% of us? There are probably as many reasons
as there are resolutions and dwelling on them wouldn’t be as beneficial as
giving you scientifically proven tips that can help make 2014 a year of positive change for you. Around this time every year I
share an influence technique that can help readers PAVE
the way to success in the New Year.

In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful
motivator of behavior known as the principle of consistency.” This proven
rule tells us people feel internal and external psychological pressure to act
in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deeds, beliefs and
values. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and other
people perceive us in a more favorable light, which adds to our authority in their eyes.
There are four simple things to strengthen the
power of consistency in your life. These simple ideas will help you PAVE the way to success because they’ll
dramatically increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s
resolutions.
Public – Whenever you
make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting
yourself and your reputation on the line. The mere fact that another person
knows your intention and might ask you how you’re doing is often
enough motivation for people to follow through.
Recommendation
#1
– Share with another person or group of people, your New Year’s
resolution and ask them to hold you accountable.
Active – You have to
actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to
yourself as some sort of secret, will lead to the same results as people who
don’t make resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light
in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their college grades.
One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in
their heads, and the last group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can
imagine, the group with the written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of
students increasing by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the
results were identical and poor. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students
improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same
study materials so they all had the same opportunity to better their GPA.
Recommendation
#2
– Make sure you have to take some active steps. It could be as simple
as buying a book to help you learn more about the changes you’re hoping to
make.
Voluntary – This has to
be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something
– quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation
will last if someone told you to do it. The goal has to come from you because
if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your willpower will last long. Samuel Butler
said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same
opinion still.”
Recommendation
#3
– Make sure it’s something you really want to do.
Effort – It was already
noted that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the
commitment should require some effort on your part. The more effort
you expend setting up your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. Something
as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you
don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the
public requirement, which gives you more bang for the buck! Robert Cialdini
puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.”
Recommendation
#4
– A little more effort, like committing pen to paper, will increase your chance for success
significantly.
So to recap the recommendations:
  1. Share your resolutions with others.
  2. Make sure to take some active steps.
  3. Make it your goal.
  4. Commit pen to paper.

None of what I just shared is
new but I’m guessing many of you haven’t tried the PAVE
approach before. If you’ve failed at your resolutions in the past then give
this approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this different
approach might just be your key to success in 2014. Good luck and Happy New
Year to all of you!

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer

 

influencePEOPLE 
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

PAVE Your Way to Success in the New Year

If you’re like many people then you’ll be making New Year’s resolutions shortly. And if you’re like most people you’ll be breaking those resolutions within days. In one study, 52% of people making resolutions were confident of achieving them, yet only 12% actually did so. It’s a shame because most of the goals people set are good ones! Here are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people make:

  • Spend more time with family
  • Lose weight
  • Start exercising
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Get organized
  • Get out of debt

The list is admirable so why are these goals so difficult to achieve for the vast majority of people? There are probably as many reasons as there are resolutions, but we don’t need to spend time on them because you’ve probably heard just about all of them…and perhaps even used a few yourselves! As I’ve done in years past I’m going to share an influence technique that can help you PAVE the way to success in the New Year.

In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful motivator of behavior known as “consistency.” This principle says that people feel compelled to act in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deed, beliefs and values. When we act in consistently we feel better about ourselves and people perceive us in a more favorable light, which adds to our authority.
We are going to take a look at consistency as it pertains to you and four simple things to strengthen its power in your life. These simple ideas will PAVE the way to your success because they’ll dramatically increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.
Public – Any time you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re coming along with your commitment is quite often enough motivation for people to follow through. Recommendation #1 – Share with another person or group of people, your New Year’s resolution and ask them to hold you accountable.
Active – You have to actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to yourself, will lead to the same results as people who don’t make resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their college grades. One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads, and the last group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of students increasing by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were almost identical. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials so they all had the same opportunity. Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take some active step. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn more about the changes you’re hoping to make.
Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something – quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation will last if someone told you to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your desire will last long. Samuel Butler said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.” Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something you want to do.
Effortful – It was noted above that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. In fact, the more effort you expend setting up your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement, which gives you more bang for the buck! Dr. Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.” Recommendation #4 – Commit pen to paper and you’ll increase your chance for success significantly.
None of what I just shared is new but I’m willing to bet many of you have not tried the PAVE technique before. If you’ve been one to make resolutions in the past only to fail, then give this different approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this different approach might just be your key to success in 2013. Good luck and Happy New Year to all of you!

Brian, CMCT®
influencepeople 
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

Will You Be Making New Year’s Resolutions?

Will you be making New Year’s resolutions in a few days? If so, then you’ll want to read on IF you want to have a realistic shot at making those resolutions stick. I blogged about this last year, but with so many new readers and so many people making New Year’s resolutions I thought it would be good to revisit this topic.If you Google “New Year’s resolution” you’ll find it’s generally defined as a commitment someone makes to do something, or stop doing something, in order to better his/her life in some way. Here are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people make:

  • Spend more time with family
  • Lose weight
  • Start exercising
  • Quite smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Get organized
  • Get out of debt

In one study, 52% of people making resolutions were confident of achieving them yet only 12% actually did so. The list above is admirable so why are these goals so hard to follow through on for the vast majority of people? There are probably as many reasons as there are resolutions but we don’t need to spend time on them because you’ve probably heard just about all of them…and perhaps even used a few yourselves! As I did last year, what I’ll do is share an approach that might help you PAVE the way for success in the New Year.

When I write or talk about the principles of influence it’s typically to help people get others to say “Yes!” to them. But that’s not what I’m going to share in this post. In the study of persuasion there’s a powerful motivator of behavior known as “consistency.” This principle says that people feel compelled to act in ways that are consistent with their beliefs and values as well as what they’ve said or done in the past. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and people perceive us in a more favorable light which adds to our authority.What I want to do is give you a way to tap into the principle of consistency that will motivate you to follow through on your New Year’s resolutions. Almost all resolutions involve forming or breaking habits so that means you have to start doing something regularly or stop doing something you’re currently doing. In either case the goal is to improve your life. We are going to take a look at consistency as it pertains to you and four simple ways to strengthen its use. These simple ideas will PAVE the way to your success because they’ll increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

Public – Any time you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re coming along with your commitment is quite often enough motivation for people to follow through. Recommendation #1 – Share with another person or group of people, your New Year’s resolution and ask them to hold you accountable.Active – You have to actively do something. Merely thinking about a resolution but keeping it to yourself will lead to the same results as people who don’t make resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their grades. One group was asked to write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads and the last group had no specifics whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeed, with nearly 90% of students increasing by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were almost identical. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials. Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take some active step. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn more about the change you want to make.

Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something, like quite smoking, lose weight, or get in shape, it’s not likely your motivation will last if someone told you to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you it’s not likely your desire will last long. Samuel Butler said it best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.” Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something you want to do.

Effortful – It was noted above that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. In fact, the more effort, the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement which gives you more bang for the buck! Dr. Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.” Recommendation #4 – Commit pen to paper and you’ll increase your chance for success significantly.

None of what I just shared is new but I’m willing to bet many of you have not taken many, if any, of the four steps listed above. Sometimes all it takes is to see things in a new and different light for it to resonate. If you’ve been one to make resolutions in the past and fail, then give this different approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but this change in approach might just work for you. Good luck and Happy New Year to all of you!By the way, my resolution, goal if you will, for 2011 is to drop some weight. I’ve not watched my diet lately and I’ve gotten our of shape so I’ll make a public, active, voluntary, effortful commitment to get down from 215 lbs to 195 lbs by April 20th. Anyone care to publicly jump in with me on some goal? If so just add your comment below.Brian, CMCT
influencepeople
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

PAVE the Way for New Year’s Resolutions

If you Google “New Year’s resolution” you’ll find it’s generally defined as a commitment someone makes to do something, or stop doing something, in order to better his/her life in some way. For example, here are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people make:

  • Spend more time with family
  • Lose weight
  • Start exercising
  • Quite smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Get organized
  • Get out of debt

Since these are all very good things, why are they so hard to follow through on? There are as many reasons as there are resolutions, and because you’ve probably heard just about all of them I won’t spend any time on them. Instead I’ll take a different approach, one that might just PAVE the way for success in 2010.

Usually I talk about the principles of influence as a way to motivate other people, to get others to say “Yes!” to you. That’s not what I’m going to share this time. What I’ll share is a way for you to tap into consistency to motivate yourself. Almost all resolutions involve forming or breaking habits. You have to start doing something regularly or stop doing something you’re currently doing to better your life in some way. We’ll take a look at consistency as it pertains to you and four key ways to strengthen its use.

In the study of the principles of influence there’s a powerful motivator called consistency. People feel compelled to act in ways that are consistent with their beliefs and values. They also feel compelled to act in ways that are consistent with what they’ve said or done in the past. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and people perceive us in a more favorable light.

Here are the four keys to strengthen consistency, PAVE the way to success, and increase the chances that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

Public – Any time you make a public statement, whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself on the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask you how you’re coming along with your commitment is quite often enough motivation for people to follow through. Share with another person or group of people, your New Year’s resolution AND ask them to hold you accountable.

Active – You have to do something. Merely thinking about a resolution but keeping it to yourself will lead to the same results as people who don’t make resolutions. In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group of students who wanted to improve their grades. One group was asked to write their goal down, one group kept their goal in their heads and the last group had no specifics whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the written goals succeed, with nearly 90% of students increasing by a full letter grade! With the other two groups the results were almost identical. In each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth noting, they were all given the same study materials.

Voluntary – This has to be YOUR goal, not someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something, like quite smoking, lose weight or get in shape, because someone told you to, it’s not likely your motivation will last. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced on you then your desire will not last. Samuel Butler hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion still.” If you voluntarily make the commitment you stand a better change of succeeding.

Effortful – It was noted above that you have to actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require some effort on your part. In fact, the more effort the more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But, taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement which gives you more bang for the buck! Dr. Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up to what they write down.” Commit pen to paper and you’ve greatly increase your odds of success.

So there you have it, a slightly different way to approach some positive changes for the New Year. If you’ve been one to make resolutions and fail then give this approach a try. If you fail again you’re no worse off but you never know, this change in approach might just work for you. And think about how much fun it will be to spend more time with family after you’ve lost that extra weight, started exercising, quit smoking and drinking and have organized a plan to get out of debt! Okay, maybe that’s a bit much but accomplishing at least one would be nice.

I wish you a very happy and successful New Year!

Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”