Did you know 50% of Americans set themselves a New Year’s Resolution? My concept is people want to change themselves for the better. After all, most resolutions are geared towards personal improvements of some sort, which is pretty amazing! However the flip side of the coin is that 88% of all those who set resolutions from America and around the world fail. Sadly year after year disappointed minds tally up to about 156 million failed resolutions. However we can’t beat ourselves up for not meeting the goal. Did you know there is a science behind all of this? Your brain can’t handle New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because what we need to stick to the resolution is willpower. The prefrontal cortex contains the brain cells that operate willpower. For example that area of the brain is also responsible for staying focused, handling short-term memory and solving abstract tasks. Bottom line is when we set a New Year’s resolution our brain simply cannot handle it. To better understand how this works let say your resolution is at the start of the year, to quit smoking, start working out, and drop those extra 30 pounds you are carrying around. HOLD ON!!! BRAIN OVERLOAD and about the same as lifting a 300 lb barbell without any training!
To work your way to successfully meeting your New Year’s Resolutions the key is to make your goal a habit.
4 of the most common New Year’s resolutions are listed below and how to create the habit which will help in meeting your resolution:
- Resolution: Quit smoking vs. Habit: Only stop smoking that 1 cigarette you have every morning after breakfast.
- Resolution: Eat healthy food vs. Habit: Start substituting that 1 daily morning pastry for a healthy option such as fruit and yogurt.
- Resolution: Lose Weight vs. Habit: Every evening after work, do some time of exercise for 15-30 minutes.
- Resolution: Manage stress vs. Habit: Meditate for 2-3 minutes every morning after you wake up.
As you are successful in meeting the intermediate goals create new ones. For me life is about reaching goals. Create a plan, reach them, reboot and rebuild. I hope you too are rewarded by your successes!