Friday, January 5, 2018

Keeping New Year's Resolutions Secret?

Last year, I published my New Plan for 2017. Would it surprise you that I failed to stick to the plan and failed to meet my health goal? Many people are proud to share their New Year's Resolutions and with Social Media it has become even easier. However, according to Derek Sivers, psychologists such as Peter Gollwitzer have known for a long time that the "social reality" caused by others acknowledging our personal goals, makes us less likely to achieve them. 

Still Skeptical? 

Perhaps you would enjoy the biochemical version. While Derek does not get into the biochemistry in his TED Talk, or his blog post that accompanied it, I have to believe what he was getting at was the little spike of Dopamine and Serotonin we get when someone extols us for our goals. As Simon Sinek points out in his book Start With Why, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with accomplishment, while Serotonin is the neurotransmitter associated with pride and recognition. So, it makes sense how our bodies and our minds could get this mixed up, and  cause us to start sabotaging our goals. 

Hack Your Biochemistry?

We can use our biochemistry to our advantage. As Derek Sivers states, we can rephrase our goals in a way that "gives you no satisfaction" (denys you Dopamine and Serotonin), but if you listen closely his restated goal was actionable (train) and measurable (five times per week). He also had the end in mind (run a marathon), which something that Michael Hyatt writes about in his new book Your Best Year Ever.  Michael also recommends using goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-keyed, exciting and relevant (SMARTER).  With clarity what our goal is, how we will attain our goal and how we will know when we attained our goal, we can safeguard against premature Dopamine and Serotonin release. 

Moving Forward

If we view past failures through the psychological and neurochemical lens, actional steps emerge. So this year I am keeping my New Year's Resolutions to myself, but I will give you a couple hints. I am striving to make advancements in all ten domains of life identified in Michael Hyatt's new book Your Best Year Ever, I will be using SMARTER goals and I guarantee that some Bulletproof Coffee will be involved. 

Best of luck to all of you in 2018.

Stay well engineered,

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements or products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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