The Bobby Rock Newsletter #39 (12-30-2021) - In Defense of the New Year's Resolution
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #39 (12-30-2021) - In Defense of the New Year's Resolution
Hey Gang -
Yes! 2022 is upon us. Now is a good time to get reflective and take inventory of the good, bad, and ugly of 2021, as we consider all the ways the blank canvas of 2022 could be our “best year ever.” Should it begin with a traditional Resolution of some sort? I say, why not? And I’m someone who has gotten this wrong in the past way more than I’ve gotten it right. Let’s take a quick look…
In this Issue:
- As worn out as the notion may be, let's drill down on the New Year’s Resolution concept for a minute and see if there's any merit left for us…
- Either way, here are three heavy-duty contemplations to consider in your remaining moments of quiet in 2021
- The Mental Game: I talk about it at length with a couple of experts in a recent podcast.
One resolution, for sure: More shows in 2022!!!
In Defense of the New Year's Resolution
The main problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that most people have a bad track record with them. This means that, as the years keep ticking by, the more “failures to resolve" you rack up, the less confidence you have that you will ever be able to actually pull one off. The sensible alternative? Swear off such resolutions.
But I say no. To me, the concept makes sense. It is a symbolic time of year… as good as any to take another shot at a meaningful shift of some sort. Of course, the biggest hurdle we have is all of the self-talk about “Yeah, yeah, yeah… here we go again. Another New Year’s Resolution? Yeah, right. You know it ain’t gonna last,” etc. And, in defense of this pessimistic voice, we really can’t blame it. That inner voice didn’t spring up from nowhere. It’s been a witness to our falling short for many years, if not many decades, with the shortcoming often emanating from a familiar aspiration.
However, it doesn’t mean a successful resolution is impossible.
So what is the issue? I’ve been giving it a lot of thought over these past couple of weeks as 1-1-22 looms closer (and I contemplate many of my own past failures to resolve). Is it a fundamental lack of discipline? I say no. Most anyone who will cite "lack of discipline" in the area of, say, shaking their junk food habit, will exhibit plenty of discipline in, say, their work or another aspect of their life. So clearly, they have the ability to be disciplined… just not in the area they have resolved to change.
Instead, I think the issue is more likely in the approach one has taken in their attempts to master the resolution. A lot of this gets down to the art of installing a new habit… while, in many cases, simultaneously uninstalling a bad one. And these things almost always get down to a “system.”
Example: If you want to start exercising first thing in the AM for 30 minutes, you have to install a fail-proof system for it. This might include:
- Set an alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to shut it off.
- Have your exercise clothes and shoes laid out from the night before right next to the bed, ready to jump into.
- Create some sense of automation for a minimalist prep regimen before you head out the door—or into the exercise room. In other words, all of the AM essentials must be fast and easy to knock out and require minimal decision-making.
Boom-Boom-Bam. You walk through the system, like it or not, and within 5 or 10 minutes, you have either started exercising or are on your way to it, before you can even find an excuse to delay it.
For letting a bad habit go, consider the system you already have in place for it (and believe me, there IS a system for it!). How can you disrupt it, or make some aspect of it more difficult? If junk food is an issue, don’t bring that shit into your home. Make it so you actually have to go to the store or drive-through to get it. Or if you’re looking to waste less time on social media, delete the app from your smartphone. (Yes… delete it!) You can still check posts on your computer, but this will dramatically reduce the total time spent, because you can no longer just jump online anytime you think about it.
Visions, Digits, and Demons
You might recognize “Visions and Digits” from Newsletter #38 regarding optimizing our brain-power for better creativity and productivity. Naturally, the idea works great for pursuing specific goals. Here’s a quick overview on how, I believe, we can get the odds of a Resolution follow-through back in our favor.
Visions: Make sure your goal or objective is super specific and compelling. Clarity is key! You can’t just say, “I want to exercise more this year.” Instead, you will want to get specific about the kind of training you will do and precisely what it will do for you. How exactly will this benefit you? How exactly will your new lifestyle change look in the day-to-day process of diligently training? The more detail the better.
Digits: The pursuit of your goal/objective must be quantifiable by numbers. Example: How many times a week will you work out and for how long? How much weight do you hope to lose (or gain if you’re looking to buff-up)? What kind of performance goals do you have? (Weightlifting numbers, goal times for running or cycling, etc.) Numbers make things real because progress is always measurable by them. In fact, you should always be able to measure your progress by percentages: As in, "I am 60% complete with my training goal this week."
Demons: Sometimes it isn’t that the new thing (resolution) is so difficult to pull off: It’s that we have a “shadow activity” that is firmly in conflict with our new thing, and it is likely residing in the immediate gratification category, promising a fast and easy dopamine hit of some sort. This shadow activity will take us out so, in most cases, if we kill (or get a serious handle on) it, the new thing is suddenly markedly easier. What is your demon here?
All of which leads us to…
Three Life-Altering Questions to Ponder for 2022
Whether you decide to go the New Year’s Resolution route or not, here are three questions to prompt a bit of end-of-the-year contemplation. You’ll notice they loosely tie into our Visions/Digits/Demon theme.
I recommend making a brief journaling exercise out of it, even if your answers are super short. There’s something magical about committing your thoughts to paper (or the computer screen) and reading back what you’ve written. But it’s not necessary for this one, although I do suggest taking 5 to 10 undistracted minutes to reflect or meditate on these questions:
1) Is your grandest vision of your best self—and/or most important thing—still the grandest? Or are you chasing an outdated dream?
2) If you had to choose one activity to do for 15 minutes, every single day of the year, what activity would have the greatest impact on your life this year?
3) What is one of your limiting, long-term vices, habits, or behaviors that, if you let it go, would change your life most dramatically over the next year?
New Podcast Interview: Exploring the Mental Game
Had a great interview with Troy and Heather of the Mental Management Systems podcast. These two are experts on all things related to the mental aspect of peak performance, so we went deep into the mental game of drumming, practicing, dealing with the rigors of the road, and much more. Cool interview!
I’ve been a fan of their father, the legendary Lanny Bassham, for years. He’s an Olympic gold medalist (as a rifle shooter) and the author of the classic, "With Winning in Mind.” He’s also a renowned expert in the field of peak performance, so it’s great to see the family tradition moving forward! Special thanks to Troy and Heather’s brother, Brian Bassham, for putting this thing together. Scope it here:
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next year!
For Your Quick Reference:
My main website at www.bobbyrock.com is constantly updated with cool new stuff. Be sure and take a moment to sign up in the upper right-hand corner of any page on the site. It only takes a minute. This will give you a much more customized experience, and also grant you access to various members-only areas, events, etc.
Tour Dates: If you are signed up to the site, you will receive an automatic email notification any time I'm playing within 150 miles of your crib.
Newsletter Archives: Scope all the back issues here. There is even a Table of Contents reference so you grab an "at-a-glance" view of what's in each issue.
News Feed: Stay in touch! Think of this as Facebook and Instagram rolled into one location, plus extra posts exclusive to the site.
The Bobby Rock Store: Books, Music, BR drumsticks (stage-played and brand new), T-shirts, Signed 8x10s, Dragon Dirt and more...
Dragon Dirt: My brand new custom superfood powder. Scope the site for tons of info!