Learning How To Change – A Resolution For Everyone

Your resolution is probably going to be a failure.

Sorry, but the statistics show it. As time goes on, I hear more and more people decide not to do New Year’s Resolutions anymore because they don’t last. I’ve been one of them…until this year.

There is one resolution that is plausible and stands the best chance to permanently change your life. It isn’t as daunting as losing 50 pounds. It isn’t flashy like training for a marathon. Once you successfully accomplish this resolution, you won’t ever have the need to initiate another one.

This is the resolution that keeps on giving until you die. Sounds good, right? That’s because it is. It isn’t easy to execute, but I believe it is easy to learn how it works. This year I recommend that you skip the traditional resolutions and commit to learning how to change.

Learning How To Change

New Year’s Resolutions fail consistently because none of us really know what we’re doing. We decide to lose weight and plan to go to the gym 5 days a week. We do it for the first 2-3 weeks and then begin to slip. Our motivation eventually gives out and we lapse back into our old ways.

But there are people overcoming the most powerful addictions in the world every day. There are people that are losing weight, chasing their dreams recklessly, and changing into who they want to be. What are they doing that the rest of us are not?

In short, I don’t know. It is my goal to find out and I’ve found a couple of books to start with. Of course, I’ll be blogging about my progress and what I’m learning in the coming posts.

Three psychologists studied the phenomenon of change over several years by examining thousands of people in multiple studies. They wrote a book about it called Changing For Good. This is what I’ll be reading over the next days.

I’m also interested in picking up This Year I Will…, which has positive reviews but is perhaps more anecdotal. I wanted to first go with a book that had a lot of scientific research behind it. In fact, the Changing For Good system is used by the Center For Disease Control (USA), the National Cancer Institute (USA), National Health Service (GB), and Johnson & Johnson.

The New Year’s Resolution model of change is a joke to many people for good reason. Instead of going against it this year, I’m going to use the minuscule motivation provided by a new set of 365 days and decide to learn how change really works. If I am successful, I’ll be able to use the foundation to mold myself and my life into what I really want it to be.

It’s more obtainable than most other lofty New Year’s goals, and yet it pays dividends for the rest of my life.

Now you need to decide – are you going to lose 20 pounds this year or learn how change works so you can shape your lifestyle to make the pounds fall off? If it is the latter, there are two highly rated books I referenced here as well as a plethora of other resources to help you learn about change.

“If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.”

~ Chinese Proverb

About the Author

I'm lazy, but you can call me Stephen. When you're as lazy as I am, you need superior strategies to live well. My strategies are so effective that I'm productive every single day. As the world tries to figure out how to always stay motivated, I create strategies that don't require it.

Denys Yeo

Thank you for the book recommendations. They look interesting. I have just started reading: Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney (Sep 1, 2011) – which focuses on a similar theme, why is it so hard to change our behaviour? I think your idea about helping people learn about the change process is an interesting one; particularly as a precursor to actually trying to change some aspect of their life.

Looking forward to your 2012 blogs


Hey bro,

Hope you had a great New Year. That book sounds awesome man, its on Amazon UK too. Let me know how it is and may pick it up myself. It’s so true wit NY resolutions, they almost all flop. Harnessing the power to change your habits is possibly the most valuable skill a person can possess. Hope we both bring our blogs to new levels of success this year.


Stephen Guise

Thanks Denys. I think if we understood how change worked, we’d be much more successful doing it. There is always something we can change for the better, so I see it as an essential skill that isn’t paid much attention. It was only recently that I realized I didn’t understand what made attempted changes stick or fail.

Stephen Guise

Hey Robert,

My New Year’s Eve was excellent! I hope yours was great too.

I’ll probably be blogging about some of the things I’m learning and I might even do a book review. I’m not worried about blog success much right now (I’m coasting, haha) – I’m just posting my thoughts and not marketing or growing it aggressively. At some point down the road I might re-initiate a growth phase by guest posting and such.

All the best for your new blog Robert!


I’m a university student. I weighed 14 stone at the beginning of term. I then had my brother come visit and give me a wake up call two weeks in. I then bought gym membership and ensured I went jogging 15 minutes virtually every day.
I kept this up for 6 weeks and returned home not having noticed any difference.
The scales however said otherwise. I weighed 11 stone and I’ve been constant since.
I now intend to get a six pack by the summer.
Hope this helps.

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