The 3 D’s

January is the month when many people start new habits. A poll conducted by Forbes showed that most resolutions last only a little over three months. Why is this?

I believe it is connected to the 3 D’s. Dedication – Devotion – Discipline.

Let us look at this triad.

Dedication is commitment to a task and purpose.

Is commitment enough to hold true to the resolution you might have picked? I think it is more complicated. Sometimes a resolution sounds good but is too big of a change for the individual. Another consideration is asking why this resolution? Maybe the resolution is about feeling better which is a very broad goal. The person may be devoted to a healthy life, but perhaps the goal of “feeling better” needs to narrowed down so that the resolution is doable. The final component is discipline. Holding yourself to a commitment.

Mmmmmm…. All this sounds daunting.

Let us look at this triad from another perspective.

Devotion is loyalty, enthusiasm for something or someone.

I love learning new healthy ways of living. Learning about new ways requires a commitment to reading and research to discover approaches that are in alignment with who I am. I need to be able to implement approaches that work for me, and when I share this information I need to be able to explain it clearly. This learning process enforces my dedication to health because I enjoy discovering, understanding, and sharing this new information. Discipline shows up again in the form of holding myself to the commitment. Devotion to Dedication then Discipline flow best for me.

Now, we are going to discuss the leg of the triad I believe it most difficult.

Discipline is the practice of training to produce a specific behavior.

Changing behavior is hard. Why? Sometimes you do not have the support of friends and family. Other times we get trapped into the negative emotions and thinking which talks us out of the resolution almost immediately. I am not sure a resolution can be sustained with discipline. Perhaps there is another possible influencer.

There could be a fourth D…. Desire? How badly do you want the outcome?

From personal experience, I understand how hard it can be to keep a resolution going, but I think I also understand how a person can be successful if they start with what they are devoted to and acknowledge how badly they want the desired outcome. Once these two components are considered then dedication and discipline may flow more easily.

How about you? Where do you start?

What works for you in staying true to a resolution?