Let’s face the facts. You’re gonna pay the price in one way or another when it comes to those New Year resolutions you just made a few weeks ago. One way or another, you are gonna pay for what you resolved to do.
Allow me to walk you through the cost of making and breaking a New Year’s resolution. I’m not talking monetary costs this time. Even though, we will both agree there is a monetary cost involved in what I’m about to elaborate on.
Let’s say you made the resolution to workout and lose weight this year. Most likely, you made some bland resolution in your head that you didn’t even write down. You probably said, “I’ll exercise more this year,” or some general, similar statement.
Whether in writing or not, you have just psychologically made a pact with yourself to exercise more. You may not think of it this way but your subconscious and your brain have made an agreement to take action together.
The subconscious knows how this works. So, to protect itself, it won’t let you make a promise to your brain that you can’t easily back out of if you want or need to. That’s why so many people use bland, general resolutions instead of specific, factual resolutions, which are written down.
Like any other new partnership, the brain and the subconscious work together to take action. The first few days or even weeks, you exercise four times a week. The brain and subconscious feel good about their newfound relationship.
Then, one day you are tired. You may have worked late, had too long of a happy hour or whatever. The bottom line is you’re too tired that week to hit the gym four days, so you hit it only twice.
Your brain gives some sort of BS excuse to your sub as to why it only made it twice this week. You say something like this to yourself: “I was tired this week. I worked hard. At least I made it twice, maybe two times is enough.” Because we do not like to struggle internally, aka schizophrenia, our brain and our sub will come to an agreement and settle on “two days a week is good.”
You just cut your time in the gym in half. This gives you less aerobic euphoria and allows you to eat a few extra items each week to fill the void. Your brain is getting pissed that your sub is letting this happen but it’s forced to agree and deal with it.
One week, you’ve had enough. You’re tired of being sore, you’re hungry, you got work to do or some lame shit you come up with, and you quit. You just don’t go to the gym that week.
The next week comes around, and you do the same. The further from the last time you went to the gym you get, the easier it is to ignore it and act like it didn’t happen.
Your brain tries to convince the sub: “Hey man, we said we were gonna exercise more in 2015, we did. We worked out 21 times in 2015; we worked out 12 times in 2014 and the year is not over yet.” They have no choice but to come to an agreement and let you quit.
Now, the pact has been broken. The sub and the brain both know this. One or the other may be convinced that the quit was warranted, but the other one knows it is out of sloth and greed that you quit. This causes self-resentment.
Self-resentment is no joke. Without the good feeling from the gym, your body will look for other rewards, like food, for example. With self-resentment, your sub allows your brain to make poor decisions, which could hurt your body long-term. This is the sub’s way of showing anger to the brain for allowing the quit.
This could translate over into any area of your life where you made resolutions. Work, home, finance and/or everything else you could come up with. To keep it congruent here, we will stick with exercise as the example. Now, let’s talk about the opposite end of this spectrum. I told you in the first paragraph that you’re gonna pay one way or another. In the example above, you pay by self-resentment. In this example, you will pay in mind control.
Let’s say you keep that resolution. It’s June, and you’ve hit the gym every week at least four times a week no matter what. Your sub and brain are in 100 percent harmony and all cylinders are firing. Not to mention the fact that your body has changed shape and you look and feel much better. Externally, everything is falling into place.
Your brain will fight you to stay comfortable. At first, you had to really work hard to get the sub to win and keep you in the gym, but over time, you’ve managed to create a winning strategy that you implement each day.
Each day, when it is time to go exercise, the brain comes up with a reason not to go. Every time you’ve ignored that reason, you’ve overcome the brain. The brain doesn’t get offended. It has no choice but to agree. Each time you win and end up exercising, the brain is learning to be compliant to your needs. This allows you to control the brain in other areas. Basically, I’m saying you are achieving self-mind control.
However, let’s talk about the sacrifices. In order to spend time exercising, you must take time away from some activity you used to do to fill that time. The time doesn’t go away. It’s still there. You just have a different occupance in that time.
Your body is sore, you stay hungry and you stay tired. But on the flip side, you’re putting in your time, escaping self-resentment, mastering self-mind control and keeping your body healthy. Both of these paths have costs associated with them. Obviously, the costs of the second example are worth the ROI. The costs on the first example could be as bad as an early death and daily resentment for who you are.
We take little things like New Year resolutions lightly, but we don’t usually think of the real ramifications and harm done when they are not followed through. In this example, I told you about only one year. Imagine the damage or advantage you would get from these examples year after year.
My advice on New Year’s resolutions is to call them goals. Write them down in a very specific manner you can follow, and then follow what you write to a T. This makes the agreement between the sub and brain undeniable.
Before you make any goals or resolutions, consider the damage of not accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. Think of the worst case scenario and use that as momentum and the excuse NOT to quit. Share this with someone who needs to hear it.