New Year Resolutions — What Really Prevents Us from Achieving Them?

Tina Dias
Tina Dias
Dec 27, 2014 · 3 min read

We are 5 days away from committing yet again to our new year’s resolutions. Generally, we are great at making resolutions and our intentions are to fully commit and yet somehow, most of us fall short.

You can attribute that to many reasons: “The goal was unrealistic”; “I did try but found it too time consuming or too difficult”; “Life gets in the way”; “I just don’t have the willpower”; “I just don’t want it enough or I would do it”; “It’s not that important in the end”; “It was the wrong goal”; “I need others to help me” and so on…

The truth of the matter is that we are most likely creating some excellent improvement goals and have not dug deep enough to understand what our Immunity to Change is around that goal. Yes, I am talking about what gets in the way of us accomplishing that goal — the big assumptions we believe prevents us from achieving that goal.

Let me explain further: two weeks ago, after reading their book over the summer, I went to Harvard University to attend a workshop on Immunity to Change lead by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, authors the book Immunity to Change — How to Overcome It And Unlock The Potential In Yourself And Your Organization. I was initially interested in incorporating this process into the program I am designing, which is why I went to the facilitator’s Workshop. I now realized how powerful a tool it is on its own.

At the workshop we learned how to diagnose our immunity to change by constructing our own immunity map. Through the use of a template and starting with a very clearly defined improvement goal, we created our own immunity x-ray which walks us through what we are doing or not doing against this goal; what hidden commitments exist if we did do what we are avoiding (this is where the immunity starts to show up in a powerful way and where we can start making connections) and finally what big assumptions show up as a result.

What I learned that relates to New Year’s resolutions is that we often do not achieve our resolutions because we have some underlying assumption that needs to first be discovered or validated and tested before we achieve this goal. Working through the Immunity to Change process allows you to get to the root of your own immunity to change.

For example: One of my colleague’s improvement goals is to start working out again. His co-workers are always talking about their workouts (cycling and running and weights they lift) and he currently avoids these discussions. He has a gym membership, has DVDs he wants to use and yet when he starts working out he stops soon after. In working through his immunity map we discovered that his big assumption around this was that if he would do his workouts, he would not do them well and would not be regarded as sporty and people would not accept him. He has decided to test this assumption and start working out and talking to his co-workers about his new workouts. What he found was not a lack of acceptance but rather support on ‘how to’ do them more effectively giving him more confidence to continue. Once this assumption was tested and eliminated, he moved on to the next one and is on his way to achieving his goal.

I know that for myself, I will set some realistic personal and professional improvement goals for 2015 and will work through my own Immunity Map to discover what will prevent me form achieving them. I will then test those assumptions and work towards achieving my goals.

If you are interested in learning more about this Immunity to Change Process and work one-on-one or in a group setting, just send me an email.

Happy Resolution Making!!!

    Tina Dias

    Written by

    Tina Dias

    Facilitator * Coach * Speaker