This time of year, many make the so-called New Year’s Resolutions and make a personal if not short-term commitment to modify behaviors deemed as needing change.  Typical personal commitments include, losing weight, getting more exercise, becoming a better spouse/partner, etc.

Unfortunately, most of these behavioral changes go by the wayside in short order.  Many reasons and excuses are offered and then the cycle starts all over again on January 1st of the next year.

For example, weight loss vendors are heavily advertising at this time of year.  Most of the ads look fairly similar to the those from last year and even the year before.  Our ability to fail at resolutions seems endemic.

The Relationships, Behaviors and Conditions (RBC) framework discussed herein and in other publications by the author is the proverbial three-legged stool.  In this model behaviors in a set of conditions determine the relationships among parties.

When our focus on a New Year’s Resolution is only behavioral change, failure is likely.  In the example of weight loss, conditions may not change, i.e., we eat out for lunch at work every day.  A new relationship with food may not emerge in such an environment.

Likewise, as part of our diet plan our doctor tells us to exercise but we still hate it, failure is likely.  So, what is the point?  Most resolutions are doomed!

Not so fast.  Achieving new behavioral critical mass will sustain our resolutions and lead to sustained change.  A new relationship with the ole bogyman will cast this issue into the pit of the past.

By definition, new behavioral critical mass is self-sustaining.  Hating the diet plan and associated exercise does not meet that criterion.

In other words, a set of behaviors must be changed.  For example, “all things in moderation” as our mothers taught us coupled with social engagement with likeminded individuals (social media and in person as well) may achieve the critical mass for sustained change.

Note that implicit in the last statement is a change in the conditions one is surrounded by.  This does not mean that one must quit his/her job because everyone goes to lunch together every day.  However, bringing one’s lunch several days a week does change the lunch time conditions.

None of the transformational process described herein are easy and two steps forward and one step back is often the norm.  The key incentive is the new relationship one seeks.

Once that “stake” is set, appropriate new behaviors coupled with changes in existing conditions can ensure.  Personal transformation is difficult; however, the RBC model offers new insight into how all of us can move forward.

There is evidence that diets do not work.  Once the target weight is reached, the old behaviors often emerge.

In this case, the new relationship may better be defined as Better Health which may be a better incentive to change than simply dieting.  Those who make the sustained, permanent transformation may not realize they are implementing a personal RBC but in fact they are.

Happy New Year and best of luck to all of us with our resolutions!