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Do you tilt? How to actually accomplish New Year’s resolutions

Happy New Year. I hope you had a great holiday. Now let’s get down to business. Resolutions are for suckers.

They really are. This is coming from a guy who had basically the same resolutions every year for several decades. They are probably in the top five of nearly everyone listening. Namely: lose weight; get in shape; make more money; and be happy.

RELATED: How to make 2018 better than 2017

Believe it or not, the thing that finally cracked the code for me on why I was never able to follow through on a  resolution came to me through playing poker.


(Courtesy of Ron Upshaw)

It was an exercise on discovering what causes me to tilt. For you non-poker players, tilt is anything outside the actual game that causes you to make bad decisions. The basic formula is Anger + Bad Play = Tilt.

As I was trying to become a better player. I was getting mad a lot. Mad at other players, mad at myself, and just plain  mad. I really hated losing. And if you know me at all, I really can’t stand to lose money. I ran across a former golf coach named Jared Tendler. He’s a psychologist that ended up expanding his golf coaching into coaching poker players about their mental game. Turns out there is a lot of crossover between golf and poker. He developed a fairly comprehensive list of mental scripts that cause bad decisions.

Stick with me, because I believe these seven things are also the reasons you and I don’t stick with our resolutions. The seven types of tilt are:

  1. Injustice Tilt: You believe that for whatever reason, your situation is unfair.
  2. Hate-Losing Tilt: You are hyper competitive and have an unreasonable desire to win.
  3. Mistake Tilt: This one is the person that mercilessly berates themselves for even the smallest mistake.
  4. Entitlement Tilt: For the person who just thinks they deserve it.
  5. Revenge Tilt: If things get intensely personal for you, and you burn to punish the object of your scorn.
  6. Running Bad Tilt: When there just seems to be a rain cloud over your head and you can’t take it anymore.
  7. Desperation Tilt: When you’ve been pushed so far that you start engaging in extreme behavior.

When I first read this list, it unlocked a bunch of things about how I play cards, but it also resonated in my life in so many other ways.

Why didn’t I lose weight? Because I believe that I’m entitled to eat whatever I want. Why am I not in shape? Because of the injustice. I use to be such a good athlete. It’s just not fair. Why am I not better with money? Because of all these bad things that keep happening to me that are expensive.

You get the point. I found that if I resolve to figure out why I’m tilting, the easier it is to make progress in the other areas.

I hope that 2018 is the year you start to tilt less, and live more.


You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.

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