Resilience Drop Newsletter – January 2023

Researchers have discovered that what turns your desires into real-world action isn’t your motivation level but your implementation plan. Here's a practical strategy that's proven to double or triple your chances of achieving goals.

Another year and our commitment to you remains the same – provide you with insightful, to the point ideas that help you live, work and feel better. So this month’s theme is goals because it’s still January.

January is a time when millions of people around the world set new goals. By now, many of them will be distant memories, assigned to the “no motivation” bin and laid to one side. This fact will not surprise you as you read this edition of Resilience Drop.

The surprising thing is you don't need motivation.

Today, I’m sharing with you a practical strategy that’s proven to double or triple your chances of achieving goals. Here’s what you need to know and how to apply it to your life.

Intention trumps motivation

Researchers have discovered that what turns your desires into real-world action isn’t your motivation level but your implementation plan. People who explicitly state when and where their behaviours will happen are likelier to stick to their goals. Deciding in advance when and where you will take specific steps to reach your goal can double or triple your chances for success.


Over 100 studies have concluded that you can apply this strategy to almost any goal. For example, if you want to start a new daily habit this month, you’ll be more likely to stick to it if you plan when and where you’ll do it each day.

What to do if the best-laid plans fall apart

Planning can help in a specific way that anyone on our resilience programmes will find familiar. Use the “if-then” version of this strategy. You are still stating your intention but adding to it with a simple plan for unexpected situations by using the phrase, “if……., then……..”

For example,

  • If I start to run before breakfast and find it too hard, then I’ll cut the length of the run down.
  • If I can’t call my friend back, then I will only switch on the TV once I do.
  • If I miss exercising for more than two days in a row, then I’ll revisit my diary and make the time.

The “if-then” strategy helps you feel more in control when you can’t control the random stuff that unexpectedly gets in the way.

The short version

  1. Planning when and where you will perform specific behaviours turns your environment into a trigger for action.
  2. The time and place trigger your behaviour, not your level of motivation
  3. “If, then” gives you a plan B and removes extra stress you don’t need.
  4. It’s all backed by research and built into our resilience training and coaching, so we know it works.

Listen, Watch, Learn

🎧Listen

​Are you looking to be inspired? In this episode of our podcast, David talks to Stuart Penn. Born with only one fully formed limb, Stuart learnt from a young age that everything is possible, but sometimes you have to think differently to find a way forward. Spend a minute with him and you’ll feel inspired.

🎥 Watch

​Little nervous about setting goals that are too stretched? In this YouTube video David talks to Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Richard Bedford about Dreaming Big and why it’s both good and bad advice when pursuing your goals.

💡Learn

Are you concerned about pushing too fast and too far? Endurance can be a recipe for burnout and poor mental health. ​This article, written by Emma explores the three types of burnout and how to spot it.

💭 Finally, a quote to get you thinking:

"Deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal can double or triple your chances for success."

We hope we’ve inspired you to consider your goals and habits! We are here if you have any feedback, questions or comments. We love, read and reply to every email.

From your friends at Resilience Development Co.

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