Resolutions and resistance


Let’s talk about resolutions. Normally, this is a very excellent topic to discuss at the very beginning of the year. I’m curious: how are your new year’s resolutions holding up? Have you already abandoned them? Or are you still going strong? And how come? In this blog, I will dive a little deeper into the world of resolutions and resistance. 


Wherever there are resolutions, there is resistance. Or, as Michael Bungay Stanier puts it: “One of the laws of change – as soon as you try something new, you’ll get resistance.” According to ING, 80% of the Dutch make resolutions at the beginning of the year. It won’t come as a surprise when I say that losing weight and getting fit are at the top of the list. And that of the 83% of the people that are hopeful to succeed, only 17% actually achieves their goals.


People often fail at changing habits because the resistance that they face is too big. Persevering new habits or behavior requires a lot of mental strength and resilience. But you should also be aware that your plan is realistic and achievable – a bar that has been set too high is very prone to failure. In that sense, you could say that you should make it easier for yourself; sustaining on willpower alone is nearly impossible.


Teams and managers that change from waterfall to scrum often face the same challenges that come with making new resolutions. At first, they start off very enthusiastically. But as soon as the first obstacle shows itself, they begin to stagger. They tend to lose their goals or their initial motivation out of sight, and may even crawl back into their comfort zone – the old habit.


I agree that setting an achievable goal is more effective, but I think you also need to look at aspects such as guidance and support. Changing your way is easier when a good friend or colleague helps you along the way. When things get difficult, you will be able to discuss your struggles with somebody, rather than dealing with it all on your own. This can truly add extra value to your development and efforts.


Our training programs always includes online contact with peers and professionals, with who you can tackle any bear on the road (Dutch saying for obstacles on the way). For better and for worse, because next to struggles we will also share successes. An excellent way to keep each other inspired and motivated!

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