The December and the contemplative time many use to think about the past year. What was good and what was bad? Could my life run better? Do I create my potential? Pondering about these questions is good and important, but often only well-intentioned resolutions remain at the end of the year.
“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
How do resolutions work?
Objectives are aimed at a permanent change of habits. In our brain there are so-called neuronal connections for common patterns of action. For example, if you take a shower every morning, you do not have to do it every day. After getting up, the corresponding links in our brain are immediately activated and we perform the usual action.
This may be an advantage for morning muffins, as they are placed under the shower with minimal effort. If you want to quit smoking, here is the first hurdle. Over the years learned and accustomed patterns of action from today to tomorrow – that is to say New Year – is for many a thing of impossibility. In the saying “man is a habit-bull” is therefore a spark of truth. Unrealistic or too high goals are demotivating and may lead to self-doubt.
Five strategies for sustainable behavioral change
- Information and awareness
Inform yourself in advance about possible advantages and disadvantages of your project. Consciousness formation is also important, be aware of your motivation and motivation. Do you want to change something for health reasons or for financial reasons? The practice also shows that financial incentives coupled with the resolutions are beneficial.
- Do not want too much
Modesty is a virtue. Must really be twenty pounds away from the hips? Better to put more small-scale targets and readjust them. Sharing the target to four pounds is much more motivating and easier.
- Reality check
Less driving is laudable, good for the purse and also the environment. Commuters who are off the beaten track of public transport will, however, be more serious than people in the city.
- Look for obstacles
When you change habits, you will inevitably face obstacles. Try to consider them beforehand and, if possible, exclude them.
- Form an alliance
Tell your loved one about your intentions and listen to your friends in the same way. Weekly training in the gym makes for two more fun and keeps the motivation high.
A not-to-do list as an alternative
Instead of losing weight simply do not eat fries for a whole year, but a salad to your steak. Perhaps this approach is easier for you than active action and, of course, the five mentioned strategies can also be applied to an emergency todo list.
Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
A good news for all those who continue to set up and break their resolutions according to the old patterns: Statistically speaking, the New Year’s Resolutions Day is celebrated annually in the USA on January 17th. Regardless of why you break with your good intentions, whether you keep the next day back to you is left to everyone and everyone 😉