New Year… Resolution

We’re about a month into the New Year…

(Actually, 3 now… but we’ll stick with that) So How’s that resolution coming along?

Still on track? Making progress? Wondering what progress looks like? Do you even have a resolution, and you feel the fear of judgment if you reply that you don’t (full disclosure- I haven’t made a resolution really… ever). Or, are you like the masses of our Western Civilization and have come to the realization that to see this “resolution” business is simply a plan to deviate from? Heck, we resolved to have this website up no later than the 1st of January 2019. We saw how that went.

So, what do the statistics say? Borning. Yup. But, important none the less. Stay with us, if you can.

According to a sole Global News article in 2016, citing an Ipsos Reid poll, about 1/3 of Canadians make a New Year’s resolution. And only about one quarter are actually successful. Out of a population of around 30 million people, with my socks removed, I calculate that to about 2.5 million people in Canada. Or about 17k people in the Greater Bay of Quinte Region with a population of about 200k. Yup, I cited Wikipedia. Get over it.

Feeling depressed and judged yet? Ready to down your sorrows with a litre of Eastern Canada’s finest honey dark maple syrup? Don’t bust out the figurative Maple branch (Poplar branches for our western Canucks) and get ready to flagellate your self just yet. If you’ve been bold enough to resolve to do better, that’s worth its own merits. Good for you! If you’ve actually stuck to it, great job! If you’ve fallen off… know that it was expected (in the words of a great man on a network crime series, “I believe in evidence”), and to move forward. And if you didn’t resolve to anything, well then just ignore this post, or carry on. Your choice.

On this blog (if my formatting was correct) you would have noticed a good couple of pictures. I’m a big fan of illustrations- why speak a thousand words, when the picture can do it for me. My wife would argue that I’d still find a thousand words to speak though. Apparently, I’m a “talker”.

If you’ve had a good look, what those “one-pagers” are illustrating are an accepted (and almost certainly over-simplified) theory of how behaviour change works. The “Transtheoretical Model” to be exact. I know- big words and gobilly-goop. I’m sure someone with a better command of our language can define “Transtheoretical” better than I, and at the behest of writing a publicly available Blog post which has no academically credible reference to it, I won’t bother.

What to take away, are the general steps of an individual as they may (or may not) go through behaviour changes. Let’s define a couple of things first, namely “Behaviour” and “Change”. This is where I typically lean on the Alma Matter of Oxford to give credit to the Queen’s English, but it seems to be lacking the kind of definition we’re after here. So let’s try something else. Looks like their competitor’s up to the street at Cambridge have a closer approximation. The take away from the latter is really “…in a particular situation or under particular circumstances”. Given we’re talking about Activity, which is very specific and the response from the individual is extremely subjective, I would suggest it is a fair assumption that it is most correct of the “literal” definitions.

What is “Change”? Kinda hard to mess this up, but Oxford comes through… basically, to make something “different”.

How about we try “Behaviour Change”? According to Wikipedia (oh god, please don’t tell the deity’s of credible reference sources I’m pitting Wikipedia against my stalwarts of all that is righteous in linguistics! They don’t even spell “behaviour” right!) it is a “…a broad range of activities and approaches which focus on the individual, community, and environmental influences on behavior”. Damn it. They kinda hit it outta the ballpark on that one.

Why does this matter to you, who is hopefully reading this, and is trying to figure out what Go Active is about? We’ll hit on the latter in greater detail, but let’s address the “matter”.

Because, at the end of the day, we are human. We are dynamic, individual, highly adaptive, and capable beings- of success, AND failure. And that last thing is absolutely essential to our growth. Failure. Before we unpack that last dirty word, let’s offer a simpler model.

I like things in three’s, and a wise man (who I would have followed to hell and back again) stated it plainly to a rather large group of 800 of us. I’ll “PG” this so it’s appropriate for all audiences, but hopefully, you’ll the gist of it was this.

“There are three types of people in this world. Those who are with you 100%, that have faith in what you are presenting, and will follow you so long as you sustain what you are doing. Keep doing that. Then, There are those who no matter what you do to entice, incite, influence, or otherwise bring to your side, they won’t come. They are stuck, will stay there, and there is no use expending resources on them to try to change them.

“Now, in between them, are the masses. The masses are somewhere in between, and they need the convincing. They need the example set through leadership, influence, and inspiration, to come to your side. Understand, you are competing against those stalwarts of opposition to you because those in between can just as easily go that direction. But what you also have, and never forget this, are the allies of your “true believers”… your followers. They have made the choice to go that unshakeable direction and only need your sustainment and encouragement that it is still in their best interest to do so. Focus your energy, proportionally, there, and your aims will be achieved.”

Simple enough? Let’s assign some titles, sequentially in Groups (G’s). G1= Followers, G2= Undecided, G3= Nemesis. I’m sure you can figure out who’s who, but if not the association is chronological to the mention in the pre-text.

In my simplification, there is much context selectively left out due to lack of relevance, and quite frankly would likely confuse this blog possibly more. But the message is sound, and it is relevant to any desired outcome of influencing behaviour. Therefore, it applies here. After all, that’s what we were doing with his guidance. Let’s bring this home.

Have you figured out who the “G’s” really are? If you guessed those little voices in your head that compete for the soapbox, you’re right.

So you made a resolution. Maybit’sts going well, maybe you’ve tripped, maybe you’ve taken a nose dive into the pit where King Leonidis of Sparta sent envoys to their doom. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. So what. What’s the takeaway?

The point is, this model, or even my very simplified anecdote, is an “aid to navigation”, for when those “Group’s” jockey in your head. That’s it. It’s a helper to perhaps understand where you are, where you were, and where you want to be. To understand where you may go back to, in both directions. This model is not a one-way street. As a clinician told me on many occasions, “It’s a continuum. Maybe today you are here, next week you’re up there, and next month you’re back down there”. That’s okay. Be honest about that. The aim is to progress, and sometimes that means failing. As humans, we learn more through failure then we do through success. How can a mechanic know how to fix something properly, if all they see is the perfectly maintained vehicle? Would you trust your skills as a mechanic for when the day came in and a version of Mater the tow truck came in to see you? GASP- leaking oil?! Didn’t think so.

We at GoActive embrace this model of change. We’re aware of the phase someone is likely to be at when we interact with those who come through our presence (‘cause those who know where we operate, know we don’t always have doors to walk through) for the first time. It’s exciting for us. If you’ve made that resolution, stated or not, even been given a link to this article entry knowing you’ve asked the questions of “I want to do it, but HOW do I do it”, the “Contemplative”, You’re a “G1”. Perfect. Let us help you. Come recreate, get foundations set for fitness with us, or just come have some Active Living fun. Let’s see how that goes and go from there.

But what about the “G3”, and the “G1” They aren’t forgotten. As reflected in our guiding statements as a business, our intent is to lead, inspire, and influence lifelong active living. That will more than likely be a steady and somewhat slow process. That’s fine. Slow growth, is best growth. But in each and every human being we are able to interact with, whether they are the “G1”, “G2” or “G3” , our aim really to have the greatest effect that last group.  By putting our efforts directly and publicly to “G1” and “G2”. In this approach and referencing the models illustrated above, our job is to lead you to lead yourselves through your behaviour change, and achieve that “maintenance phase”. That’s the ideal. Whether its real or not? Well, if it were, we likely wouldn’t exist as a business, now would we.

So what’s the solution? We’re making an offer to you to come get active with us, while you’re still what ever group you were, or even looking for something different as a “WithYou”. Come out for a “PlayDay”, and just feel good. Come out for three for almost free workouts, to see if we’re a good flavour for you. Come try some Paddleboarding, and find a new way to chill, sweat, or something in between. This, is all about how to get you feeling good, and trying the right way to do it for you. Maybe in time, those “NotGonnaHappener’s” will follow; that’s up to them.

We want to lead you horses to water. But it’s not lost on us- it’s up to you to drink.

Now. Back to the Fail. Simply put, do it.

Fail. Often. Fail Hard. Learn. Get up. Repeat.

Resolve to do that.


Thought’s? Questions? Do you really want Academically Credible sources? What do you want to see a blog about next? Let us know in your comments.


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