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Here's how to crack your New Year's resolutions | David DeSteno

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/01/heres-how-to-crack-your-new-years-resolutions

theguardian.com

Here's how to crack your New Year's resolutions | David DeSteno
Hope springs eternal. At least on New Year's. On this first of January, the coming year is a blank slate. It's a time when we can set our goals - to exercise more, to eat less, to perform our best - in the hopes of making 2019 a year that we can look back on with pride.

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A Low Success Rate

New Year Resolutions typically show a low success rate, as 10% of them actually succeed.

The reason for this low rate might be our basic instincts and temptations: people give into te...

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Willpower

If we strive to succeed it usually requires hard work. And hard work to achieve your desired goals requires willpower.
Willpower, whil...

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Emotions

Our emotions motivate us more than willpower.

If we are generous, fair and co-operative, we have an invaluable tool to motivate us to complete our goals. If we cultivate good character, c...

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New Year Resolutions

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Authentic Motivation

Why we set our goals matters. If it is out of fear or social expectations, then they are not going to last.

Authentic values are what helps achieve our goals, as there is a never-ending supply of willpower when we are doing what aligns with our innermost core.

Use Positive Framing

Resolving that you won't have any alcohol keeps the focus on the alcohol. Instead of focusing on what you don't want to do, focus on the positive aspect, like drinking more water.

Use gratitude and other positive emotions to steer your mind out of any pitfalls.

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Force yourself to do things

Our mind has muscles. It memorizes patterns. By doing this over and over, you're building your willpower and self-discipline. 

Forcing yourself to do things...

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

Focus on the emotional reward

Focus on the feeling you feel after doing something that you know is good for you.

  • The adrenaline rush.
  • The feeling of being fit and healthy.
  • The relief you feel after having finished a big project.
  • The pride you gain from an accomplishment.
  • The confidence you feel after having faced your fear.

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The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 %...

Procrastinating

Procrastination, or the way we let pending tasks linger on, just avoiding them, is one of the main reasons our goals don't materialize.

The longer any work is avoided the harder it becomes to eventually do it.

Like dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, they get harder and harder to do as the load increases.

Fear as the Cause of Inaction

Fear causes us to procrastinate. It can be:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of leaving our comfort zone
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what other people would think of us

We justify these fears by imaginary different reasons, but the root cause is not related to our invented reasons, it is our inherent fear.

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