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Your Mind, the Ultimate Dealmaker

How to trick yourself into action

We've all just celebrated the New Years, we're two weeks into 2023 and you've probably already failed a portion, if not all, of your resolutions.

Nothing wrong with that. You're no more a failure than anyone else. Research shows fewer than 10% of individuals stick to their resolutions. They either lose motivation or feel as though their goals were too lofty in the first place and ratchet them down until they're simple enough to forget.

But here's the secret. We do this to protect ourselves. No one likes to fail and we're keen to avoid any possibility of it. Resolutions are the pinnacle of self imposed failure. Often, you're asking yourself to make minute changes to your daily habits. They seem simple enough to follow-through on, yet you're unsure of how to stay on track.

In response, your psyche gives you the simplest suggestion, an easy out. Just give up. Everyone else does, you've failed in the past, you're asking to much of yourself - just stop now.

We all share this mental attitude, but our responses are unique. Some of us spiral into failure while others start self-dealing.

Self-dealers offer themselves a respite in exchange for genuine work. You want to be a slob for an hour and play video games? By all means, live your best life, you just need to let me work for 30-minutes of no distractions. Deal? Deal.

You need to make mental trade-offs that work to your advantage. No one can quit anything cold turkey. Former smokers use nicotene patches and chew gum to satisfy their cravings. Slobs need the same. Time to adjust, time to satisfy their habits.

Robert Bly puts it best in his novel Iron John,

The psyche likes to make deals. If part of you, for example, is immensely lazy and doesn’t want to do any work, a flat-out New Year’s resolution won’t do any good. The whole thing will go better if you say to the lazy part: “You let me work for an hour, then I’ll let you be a slob for an hour—deal?

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