Yes, even your resolution to eat better is related to time, not willpower.
If you are currently failing at your New Year’s resolution, don’t blame your weak will. Most change occurs when the participant is willing to change, so a resolution is a reflection of the very will you claim not to have. If there’s a will there’s a way, right? So, why do so many resolutions fail?
It’s a basic problem, one that I come across when consulting for businesses or even managing my own, but it’s a hard truth: most people aren’t great at time management. Instead of recognizing that, people tend to blame themselves for being bad at follow-through. Not following through may be the end result, but time management is the culprit.
Think about what circumstances lead to cheating on a diet, for example. When you ate fast food instead of cooking a meal was it because you were beyond hungry and hitting levels of hangry? Are you scheduling a workout that requires driving through 5 o’clock traffic after an exhausting day of work? We tend to set ourselves up for failure by scheduling things at inconvenient times, or by letting circumstance dictate our actions instead of the other way around. In business, time management is part of how you avoid waste. It’s how you optimize your own contributions without burning out, and how you can set an example for your staff to do the same. Think about your resolution burnout factor as it relates to time, and you’ll start to see a pattern.
If you can manage to carve out time, it often means you are trimming from other tasks as a result. Making time for resolutions is about restructuring all of your time to accommodate a change. I used to have a 3 hour round trip commute for work. After looking for waste in my schedule it really stood out, as it was the equivalent of spending an entire month of work time per year behind the wheel stuck in traffic! I decided to utilize the commute time by taking the train and biking-it, instead of driving. It took me 15 minutes longer per day, but I gained 40 minutes of exercise time each day and 80 minutes of internet and emailing on the train.
So sit down and review how you spend your time, look for waste or low priority items, then carve out that time for your new resolution. If you think you can just slot it in, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Carefully structuring your time can have a ripple effect that helps you to improve everything, and makes your resolution easier to maintain.
Matt Girvan is the co-founder and president of My Gung Ho, LLC, which creates apps that help individuals thrive in their day-to-day lives, using the same strategies that help large companies succeed. Download the to-do list/task management app Completo from My Gung Ho, for iPhone and iPad, to help you with your resolutions: https://appsto.re/us/_FiT2.i