The SOCK Theory

It’s always easy to start a resolution, but if you don’t keep to it, you will not get better. SOCK means See a problem; Own that problem; make Changes; and Keep it up! Listen to this podcast by Bruce Robinson on the SOCK theory, or read the transcript below.

The SOCK Theory

Is there anything you’d like to change? It’s thought that most New Year’s resolutions fail: people would like to lose weight but they struggle; they want to quit smoking; they want to stop being angry; they want to spend more time with their children; be a better wife or husband. It’s very difficult to change.

In the medical school we teach something called “SOCK theory” – S.O.C.K. The change has 4 key steps.

S means to see: you’ve got to see you’ve got a problem – e.g. you are overweight – get on the scales.

O is to own the problem and not blame someone else. “Oh, if only my boss didn’t nag me, I wouldn’t eat so much”, “Oh, if only we didn’t live next door to a bakery, I wouldn’t eat so much.”

C stands for change: do something about it, rather than, “When I finish this contract I’ll do it,” or “When my kids are finished school I’ll do it.” You actually have to do something to change! And

K – this is a hard one – stands for keeping it up. Whether you’re trying to exercise or lose weight, it’s easy to have a burst of enthusiasm.

If you can do all of this you can change. Understand where you are blocked – S.O.C.K.

If you’re not willing to see it, own it, change something and have some way of sustaining it and keeping it up, it’ll never happen.


Work around children’s busyness

As the kids get older, they will get busier with school, sport, after-school activities, friends, etc. Work around their other commitments as much as you can in planning time together.


Encourage Learning

Encourage yourself to teach and your kids to learn. For example, take them to a museum or discuss world issues with them. Encourage them also to think creatively.