…for resolving to be a better you, setting intentions, following through. But no matter how much we invest (gym memberships, Zumba class passes) or add new technologies (apps to track heart rates, reading speed, technology dependence, caloric intake), when it comes down to changing our behavior—it gets tricky.

It’s kind of like concussions in the game of football. In 2013, the NFL, Under Armour & GE awarded $10 million in the Second Head Health Open Innovation Challenge. The grants focused on the prevention and identification of brain injuries through monitoring, protection, and training. Smart, right?

Yup. But sadly, most of the awardees are no more likely to create long-term change than that digital heart monitor you purchased with your New Year’s resolution.

Why? Because tools don’t solve problems. People do. Change needs to happen at the root cause—our own mindset and resulting actions. Nineteen of the 20 Head Health Challenge awardees focused on innovative technologies like stronger helmets, softer turf, new diagnostic tools.

Only one focused on a basic human behavior: how players tackle. Kinesiologist, Erik Swartz and the University of New Hampshire Wildcats took on a challenge to change technique. They took the players’ helmets off during practice.

Sounds scary but effective. Having no helmet would certainly help you break the habit of head-first tackles and learn safer alternatives pretty quickly.

So this year, we challenge you to take off your helmet. Work with what you’ve got before spending on big plans and new tech solutions.

Invest in intangibles like collaboration, relationships, self-reflection. As our friend Adam likes to say: lead with your heart. Even though you can’t touch it, you can feel it.

You must be logged in to post a comment.