Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Right now, thousands of people around the globe are trying to stick to their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with family, and poker players are doing the same thing. They’re also making poker goals to grind a ton this year, to stop Tilting, to move up in stakes, make SuperNova or SNE, to win more money, to work harder, watch more videos, get a coach, to post more hands, etc, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, most won’t see their grand declarations stick very long. We’ve all been there, myself included. A recent study showed that only 12% (this number seems pretty generous to me) of people who made New Year’s resolutions achieved their goals.

To help make 2011 a successful year, I’ve put together a straightforward, strategic and practical series of blogs to not only make resolutions easier to accomplish, but goals in general. Many of the common missteps that derail your efforts are not too hard to fix with right information.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing additional posts in my blog, with one dedicated to each of these 7 steps:

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Know why you want it.
  3. Plan how you are going to accomplish it.
  4. Pinpoint what obstacles will get in your way.
  5. Determine how you are going to overcome those obstacles.
  6. Identify what will inspire you to get back up when you fall.
  7. Tracking progress.

The main purpose for setting goals or resolutions is to narrow your focus. Focus is the cornerstone for learning the skills required to achieve your goals. Often the skills you also need include eliminating old habits.

One of the most common reasons resolutions, or goals fail, is that players forget they are not just trying to accomplish something new, they are also trying to eliminate the old habit, what ever it is.

Let’s say you want to increase the amount of poker you’re playing. You decide you want to go from playing 25 hours/week, to 35. Increasing that isn’t just about adding 10 more hours (which by the way is 40% increase in capacity), it’s also about eliminating the things you would tend to do in that time.

So your trying to increase your ability to play more, and stop browsing forums for an extra 2hrs/week, TV, for an 1hr/week, not going out with friends 1/week, quitting because of tilt, or not playing because you’re tired.

Often the inspiration of a new goal can make it appear that it’s going to be easy for all these habits to disappear. In the short-term they are gone, because of that inspiration. But once it wears off, the gravity of these patterns brings you back down to the reality that you HAVE to fix them otherwise your resolution becomes just another failed idea.

My goal with this series is to provide you with the right information to make your New Year’s resolutions, or goals in general stick. I will not focus so much on writing goals down, passion, self belief, inspiration, routine, or any number of self improvement buzz words you may have heard or read about. While these things are helpful they are NOT required.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the blog’s updates, here, so you can have updates sent to your inbox or RSS reader.

Photo credit: Lululemon athletica

Join the Mental Game Newsletter
Sign up to get exclusive content and be the first to find out when a new Mental Game Podcast is released
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

3 Responses to “Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick”

  1. I’m looking forward for your future blogs about this subject, greatly appreciated.

    I definitely agree with your blog post and I’m wondering on how you do to fix old habits? Is it to focus on NOT doing the old habit and constantly thinking about doing the new way you want to have as a habit? You’re probably going to write about that in your future blog posts but I’m asking this because of the small chance you don’t.

    Best Regards,


  2. Hi Jared,

    I believe that as long as your goals are realistic then you can achieve them. Let me give you an example of an unrealistic goal that everyone will relate to.

    “I am going to play for Manchester United and win the FA Cup.”

    I am 35-years of age so for a 35-year old this goal is unrealistic. But the area where realistic goals hang out is vast and a good place I like to visit!

    We are living in a time where a lot of people are unemployed and will tell you how difficult it is to find a job. I left a very good job that would bring in six figures (in dollars) during some years because I had a goal to create my own. I am in the process of turning that goal into a reality as I type. This is because I follow the principles you are going to write about in the coming weeks.

    I have more goals in 2011 and nothing is going to stop me from achieving every single one of them. I have a funny feeling you and your new blog post series is going to have a really major impact in that.

    Lee Davy
    Stop Talking – Start Acting – One Life
    (w) – Come, read, cry, laugh, agree and disagree.
    (m) 07795441383
    Skype: Chingster23


  1. Ask Mental Game Coach Jared Tendler - Page 7 - Poker Forums - April 15, 2011

    […] blog series recently around accomplishing goals, there maybe some ideas in that may help you too. Here's the first post, and it it are links to the other seven. Does this […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes