Quick Fixes Don't Work in
Personal Development

quick fixesMost of us don't want to hear this, but; there are no quick fixes or short cuts to personal development (or to anything else worthwhile, for that matter). The road to bettering ourselves is a long continous one that requires time, commitment and self-discipline.

Of course, it's human nature to look for the quickest, easiest way to get what we want. We tend to look for the one size fits all solution to our problems. We want to find the book, the DVD, or program that will fix us and make everything all right - overnight - and we want it pronto!

Well here's the reality - apart from being improbable and unrealistic, most things just don't work that way. One of the reasons they don't, is that quick fixes are neither lasting, nor sustainable. A quick fix for any problem is only meant to hold things together until an effective long-term solution is found. It's merely the proverbial band aid.

Making positive lasting change in your life takes time and this is why:

  • A new habit takes at least 21 days of consistent effort to set in - When we try to change a behavior/habit or implement a new one, it takes at least 21 days of consistent repetative behavior for it to set in. If it happens to be an addiction, it could take as long as 35 days, or more. No quick fix is designed to change habits.

  • Habituation and homeostasis factors - Habituation refers to the things we do daily without having to think about doing them. Another way to put it is 'getting used to things'. Homeostasis, a term used mostly in the context of biology, is a regulatory function that keeps an organism stable. An example would be when temperatures outdoors fall or raise significantly, our body temperature remains stable. Psychological homeostasis works similarly in that it keeps you fixed in the same habits or mindsets whether they are working for you or not. That is why it's so hard to change a habit. Habituation and homeostasis, while they are necessary mechanisms so that you don't have to rethink how to do everything every single time you go to do it, they make it very difficult for quick fixes or behavior changes to take hold permanently.

  • Certain endeavors rely on ongoing repetitious strategies in order to take effect - If you want to lose weight permanently, or if you intend on having successful relationships, plan to work on it for the long haul. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds of weight, you cannot do it by eating little and well for only one day. Instead, you would have to implement a plan whereby you consume and expend a set amount of calories consistently over a given period of time. Then the weight would come off slowly and steadily.

    Likewise, to maintain a good relationship, you couldn't be pleasant and agreeable with someone for one or two days and then expect to have an understanding or connection. It would take days, months, sometimes even years to build a trusting, mutually fulfilling relationship. It cannot happen overnight.

    Only by working on goals slowly and steadily can you achieve lasting and rewarding results. By contrast crash dieting, blitzing, cramming, or bombarding (quick fixes) will derail your efforts.

  • It takes hard work and commitment - How many times have we started a new project, exercise routine, or diet plan bursting with energy and enthusiasm only to see wane and wither away? Too many, I’m sorry to say. The truth is, it isn’t easy to stay focused and committed, which is why, once again, we look for the quick fix instead of buckling down and getting on with it. If we recognize that it will take time, hard work and continued dedication to develop and improve ourselves, we would save a lot of time and heartache.

Examples where quick fixes have backfired:

Who doesn't want to be rich?

In 1993 Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery. She subsequently became deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral. What she came to realize is that in our culture we tend to believe that money solves all problems and if people had more of it their troubles would be over. Unfortunately, when money is acquired quickly and suddenly it can cause more problems than it solves.

Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lottery twice (1985, 1986) amounting to approximately $5.4 million. Today the money is gone and Adams lives in a trailer.

William Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security check. "I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare," says Post. 

Susan Bradley, a financial planner who wrote Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall, says "People think windfalls are about money. But it's really all about change and transition ... and people need time to adjust." (i.e. quick fixes do not last, nor do they actually fix anything).

What happens when we crash diet to lose weight quickly?

Although much has been written lately about how losing weight quickly is unhealthy and unproductive many still attempt it. Losing weight too quickly, like any sudden change to your body, is dangerous. We know that fad diets, diet pills, and fasting indeed induce rapid weight loss, however they also cause you to lose muscle mass and may injure the heart and other vital organs in the process. The answer? Instead of aiming for an overnight miracle (quick fix), opt for a sensible nutritious eating plan as well as a realistic exercise regimen.

The bottom line is that personal development, or self-improvement, is hard work! It takes time, consistent effort, focus, discipline and patience. Remember the work you do daily, monthly and yearly culminates in a rewarding, successful outcome.

Related Articles:
Develop Good Habits in 7 Simple Steps
Invest In Your Personal Development
Self-Discipline - The Foundation for Success