New Years resolutions that don’t fail– and your way out

How about making a resolution to not make any more resolutions? Seriously, when you example instances of when people fail versus succeed, a few key traits stand out. I’ll explain at the end of the article– but first… I read a study where patients were told by their doctors that if they didn’t stop smoking or change their diets that they had months to live. The doctors explain what their patients would experience with heart disease, lung cancer, and other complications over the remaining months if they didn’t drastically change. You know what happened?

In the majority of cases, people didn’t change. You would think that would be a wake-up call, if any. But a factual recitation about how smoking causes lung cancer is something we, as intelligent human beings, all know. Yet folks smoke anyway. Or they overeat at meals, overspend their credit line, choose bad boyfriends, and make a host of irrational decisions. Why do they fail here, even when literally threatened with a life and death situation?

They make a public commitment, they involve friends in achieving their goals, they have specific goals in different timeframes, they connect emotionally with their goals, and they have a feedback loop. Incidentally, aren’t those the same characteristics that make videos games highly addictive? Aren’t those the same dynamics that cause folks to spend hours on Facebook or (insert your favorite social media site here), coming back day after day? Imagine if you could harness that same level of dedication and enthusiasm in your job, your diet, or any other goal you want to achieve?

How about for the low, low price of $1,995? No, how about just $599 if you act in the next 30 minutes? Operators are standing by now. How about actually for free with no strings and no free set of Ginzu knives? The answer is is a community for folks who want to achieve their fitness and life balance goals. And with great fitness comes success in all other aspects of your life. This site hits upon all the game dynamics mentioned above. Chris Downie, who founded originally as a weight loss site, had the community of enthusiasts to prove it.

Instead of the traditional monthly attrition rate of 35% that you see in most programs, he’s less than 1/10th that rate. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris several times, as he explained these motivation principles to me– and it’s amazing how many people he’s been able to help because of this. Look out Tony Robbins, here comes Chris Downie! And what a humble fellow he is. He walk the talk with his own lifestyle. It reminds me of the obese CEO of a famous athletic shoe company or the CEO of a major search engine that didn’t even have a computer their first year. If you want to spark your lifestyle into success into the new year, tap into to make losing weight and getting fit as fun and addictive as Facebook.

2 thoughts on “New Years resolutions that don’t fail– and your way out”

  1. That’s bull crap. He may have a low attrition rate, which I doubt, but that means nothing in terms of changing lifestyles. Facebook and other social media sites do one thing correctly — they connect you with people of common interests. They do many thing though that have no benefit at all to people’s real lives. The social games you talk about waste time and are fun to play, but do they do anything beneficial for the user? I don’t think so. These people on Sparkpeople are participating in useless social manipulation but are doing very little for their own lives. Just like Tony Robbins, it’s a feel good activity for a while but it all falls apart eventually. You said it as a matter of fact. People don’t usually change. Change only happens if the person has a life altering epiphany and flips the switch to change. Once the switch has been flipped it won’t matter if it’s via spark people or if it’s in their living room all by themselves. The only variable to change is in a persons own head. All the rest is useless marketing bull crap that has a very short shelf life. You know it and I know it.

  2. Chris– thanks for the feedback. I am so amazed at the number of lives you have changed. That is the level of impact that we want to have with and I look to you as a role model for your attitude and practicing what you preach.

    Ryan– right on with the feedback loop. It seems that BF Skinner is alive and well. People are motivated by reward and punishment– and simple as that sounds, the patterns produced are so complex. Join my SparkTeam and let’s have some fun getting back into shape!

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