Provision #495: The Resolution Revolution

Laser Provision

New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad rap. Because resolutions can be made and broken, many people scoff at the making of resolutions and throw up their hands at the prospect of changing for good. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Resolutions make a difference, particularly when you work on them with family, friends, coaches, and other positive partners. As people in the personal and professional development business, LifeTrek invites you to use the power of intention for a great New Year.

LifeTrek Provision

Welcome to the first regular edition of LifeTrek Provisions for 2007. It’s good to be back after a refreshing break. It was a pleasure to hear from those who missed us, when our server went down after Christmas, and to receive your encouragement for last week’s poem, The Well of Well BeingClick. May we all learn to draw ever more deeply from that well in the New Year.

Speaking of 2007, have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If so, you’re not alone. Research indicates that the advent of a New Year triggers both reflection on the past and planning for the future for millions of people (the University of Washington estimates that more than 100 million Americans will make at least one New Year’s resolution). That’s enough individual resolutions to qualify as a cultural revolution.

But do such resolutions do any good? Estimates vary, but the following statistics are often cited as evidence of their failure to make any lasting difference: 75% of all resolutions are still being maintained after one week, 71% after two weeks, 64% after two months, and 46% after six months. On a related note, 40% of all resolutions are successful the first time around while 17% will take at least six tries to reach success.

Now I don’t know about you, but I see those statistics as evidence that New Year’s resolutions make a big difference. If the statistics are right, some 40-50 million Americans will successfully change some aspect of their lives in the wake of a New Year’s resolution made just two weeks ago. Wow! That’s a lot of people who will be successful in the process of changing for good. No wonder I support the making of resolutions.

What do people make resolutions about? Here’s a list of the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions, which reads like a laundry list for personal and professional coaching:

  1. Spend more time with family and friends.
  2. Improve fitness.
  3. Lose weight.
  4. Stop smoking.
  5. Enjoy life more.
  6. Quit drinking.
  7. Get out of debt.
  8. Learn something new.
  9. Help others.
  10. Get organized.

Did any of those make your list? If so, after two weeks, how are you doing? 71% of you • that’s 71 million Americans • should still be going strong. The resolution revolution is still having it’s way with the world.

To support that way, I’m going to spend a few weeks focusing on what we can do to improve our chances to still be successful six weeks, six months, and six years from now. One reason for that is because the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions map perfectly to the LifeTrek Optimal Wellness Prototype Click. I like those resolutions! The point of the Prototype is to optimize nutrition (the input side of the equation) and fitness (the output side of the equation) in the context of benevolence (the throughput side of the equation). It’s not hard to look at those 10 Resolutions and to figure out which goes where.

Another reason for my interest in writing this interlude is because I am among those who have made it through the six week, six month, and six year milestones. In April of 1998, I was sedentary, unemployed, and obese (my Body Mass Index was almost 34). By November of that year, I ran my first marathon in more than 13 years, had a vision for LifeTrek Coaching, and got my Body Mass Index down into the normal range (less than 25). Since that time, I have run 3-5 marathons per year, developed LifeTrek Coaching into a benevolent actor on the world stage, and maintained my weight. I have always enjoyed sharing that story with others, along with my insights as to how to make it happen.

Finally, I have been touched by the many reader replies from people who have begun to implement our nutritional recommendations with great success. The Prototype works because it supports the body’s natural inclination to maintain a healthy weight. When we overeat, it’s not because we are weak-willed people who can do no better. It’s because we are eating foods that undermine the body’s natural instinct for health. By eating the right foods, we get ourselves back on track.

The replies of one reader in particular, who I do not know personally and who I have not worked with as a coaching client, speak to how well this works:

  • August 2006: “What peer reviewed journals do you base your recommendations on?” (I referred him to as a reference for the LifeTrek Optimal Wellness Prototype.)
  • October 2006: “I have really enjoyed your series on nutrition. The point of view from which you speak really makes sense! I bought the Paleo Diet book and have since lost 15 lbs in about 4 weeks.”
  • November 2006: “I can’t thank you enough for the life changing series on nutrition. I have adopted the Paleo diet and now have lost almost 21 pounds since you started the series. I feel amazing!”
  • December 2006: “It’s time to get the ‘LifeTrek Nutrition Manual’ published in PDF. Here’s to a very Merry Christmas as well as a joyful, peaceful, and healthy New Year.”
  • January 2007: “Even through the holidays I have continued to shrink! Clothing is becoming expensive, because it does not last very long. I am trying to spread the word by forwarding your complete wellness series to a few people and offering my support. I may have to turn them over to you for coaching! Thanks again.”

I consider that a wonderful and even an amazing testimony to the power of LifeTrek Provisions. Although Provisions goes out to more than 50,000 people in 152 countries, I have rarely had a sense of it making such a difference in someone’s life. Imagine what it would mean for you to right-size your weight. For most people, it would mean a lot.

That’s why I want to put out some pointers regarding the process of change itself. Before we jump into the fitness recommendations of our Prototype Click, I hope to provide a few good ideas on how we can turn resolutions (promises to change) into revolutions (actual changes). Whether you’re trying to lose weight or make any other change, the strategies for success are tried and true.

Success begins when we start going down the right path in the first place. A resolution to lose weight on a diet filled with grain, dairy, and processed-food products, for example, is a resolution doomed to frustration and failure. Limiting our intake of addictive foods still has us consuming addictive foods. Sooner or later, that will catch up to us when it comes to optimal wellness.

Once we start down the right path, however, there are many strategies for staying on course and making our intentions more efficacious. If anyone ought to know those strategies, it ought to be a coach. Coaches are, first and foremost, personal change assistants. No one comes to coaching without some desire to learn, grow, improve, and change things for the better. Coaching is all about assisting people to discover their strengths and to design better ways of using their strengths in the service of life.

In all my years of coaching, I have never had anyone say, “Please help me to stay the same.” I have rather had most everyone say, “Please help me to change. I want to master something I have never mastered before. I want to do something I have only intended before. I want to turn my promises into practices.”

So we get to work. Through the relational and conversational dynamic of coaching, we find not only the motivation but also the movement and the moment for change. When the impetus, plan, and timing converge, the resolution revolution takes place. Eventually, the spiral dynamic takes hold, moving us to another level development.

If you are working with some resolutions of your own, whether they have to do with wellness or any other area of life and work, I encourage you to read these Provisions and to stay with us for the rest of this month. We will identify ways to implement our intentions for the New Year and beyond, making success a habit rather than a happenstance of the heart.

Coaching Inquiries: What resolutions have you made? What resolutions would you like to make? How could your life and work be better? What would you like to realize or accomplish? Who would you like to connect with or love? How could you find someone to coach you to success? What changes would you like to make, for good?

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob..

Your Website Click is an amazing resource, with all of the archived Provisions, Pathways, Poems, Recipes, and Resources. Kudos to you on all of your obvious dedication and commitment to your clients. Truly impressive.

I have a question about how you manage your morning routine. How do you divide the supplements? (Ed. Note: Most of my supplements Click are evenly divided, and taken right after breakfast and dinner, except for my lose-dose aspirin and 160 mg. of Saw Palmetto, which I take right before going to sleep at night.)  

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Immediate Past President, International Association of
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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