Keeping your New Years Resolutions

Before finding a solution, it is essential to explain the problem. Humans are attracted to stimuli. Any activity that releases a burst of dopamine, our minds see as a green flag. Hence, we tend to avoid hardships for short term pleasures. In doing so, when making our resolutions, we don’t fully understand what must be given up to achieve said goal. Adding/removing things from your life, means giving up habits and going into a state of discomfort called change. We often don’t pay attention to what we are giving up in exchange for gaining a new experience. Going to the gym four nights a week may mean fewer hours watching your favorite TV show; sticking to a budget means less impulse purchases or less eating out. These are but a few means by which dopamine is released into our bodies, and cutting them off will bring about drastic changes in your lifestyle. So before making that new year's resolution, it is necessary to think of the implications that come as a result. 

Another major reason we have trouble sticking to our resolutions is a lack of self monitoring. As again, we react based on stimuli, it is imperative to monitor your progress in order to create that long term change you seek. Assessing your progress is important to maintaining motivation and assessing the viability of your goal. This can be done easily whether it is tracking steps or water intake with an app, or writing down observations; yet we don’t do it. We may not do it for many reasons, whether being that we fear that we’re not improving, or we “don’t have enough time.” 

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