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Wednesday
Jan122011

New Year, Same Brain

Happy New Decade!

Did you make resolutions for this year? The most effective way to create change is to set goals, whether it's to lose weight, get organized, or get married, is to write them down and have support from your network. However, in a fascinating article by Jonah Lehrer, we learn that our lack of success in our resolutions is due, in large part, to our brains: "But this research suggests that willpower itself is inherently limited, and that our January promises fail in large part because the brain wasn't built for success."

Here's where I believe New Year's Resolutions go wrong: we are trying to be someone else. We tell ourselves (and others) that we're trying to be the best we can be, but really we want to be different than we are.

This year, instead of trying to lose 20 pounds, let's try to lose 2, or 5. I don't mean lowering our desires, but making goals that are more in keeping with what our anxiety levels can handle. Let's set goals that are a little bit higher than we think is likely, something to aim for, but not so high we are setting ourselves up to fail. Step 2 is to make a plan to reach these goals, and then there's setting out to reach them. Check back for more details on this.

What are your goals this year, and how are you hoping to reach them?

 

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