Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Right now, thousands of people around the globe are trying to stick to their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with family, and poker players are doing the same thing. They’re also making poker goals to grind a ton this year, to stop Tilting, to move up in stakes, make SuperNova or SNE, to win more money, to work harder, watch more videos, get a coach, to post more hands, etc, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, most won’t see their grand declarations stick very long. We’ve all been there, myself included. A recent study showed that only 12% (this number seems pretty generous to me) of people who made New Year’s resolutions achieved their goals.

To help make 2011 a successful year, I’ve put together a straightforward, strategic and practical series of blogs to not only make resolutions easier to accomplish, but goals in general. Many of the common missteps that derail your efforts are not too hard to fix with right information.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing additional posts in my blog, with one dedicated to each of these 7 steps:

  1. Decide what you want
  2. Know why you want it
  3. Plan how you are going to accomplish it
  4. Pinpoint what obstacles will get in your way
  5. Determine how you are going to overcome those obstacles
  6. Identify what will inspire you to get back up when you fail
  7. Tracking progress

The main purpose for setting goals or resolutions is to narrow your focus. Focus is the cornerstone for learning the skills required to achieve your goals. Often the skills you also need include eliminating old habits.

One of the most common reasons resolutions, or goals fail, is that players forget they are not just trying to accomplish something new, they are also trying to eliminate the old habit, what ever it is.

Let’s say you want to increase the amount of poker you’re playing. You decide you want to go from playing 25 hours/week, to 35. Increasing that isn’t just about adding 10 more hours (which by the way is 40% increase in capacity), it’s also about eliminating the things you would tend to do in that time.

So you’re trying to increase your ability to play more, and stop browsing forums for an extra 2hrs/week, TV, for an 1hr/week, not going out with friends 1/week, quitting because of tilt, or not playing because you’re tired.

Often the inspiration of a new goal can make it appear that it’s going to be easy for all these habits to disappear. In the short-term they are gone, because of that inspiration. But once it wears off, the gravity of these patterns brings you back down to the reality that you HAVE to fix them otherwise your resolution becomes just another failed idea.

My goal with this series is to provide you with the right information to make your New Year’s resolutions, or goals in general stick. I will not focus so much on writing goals down, passion, self belief, inspiration, routine, or any number of self improvement buzz words you may have heard or read about. While these things are helpful they are NOT required.

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