If you made a New Year’s resolution and have kept it so far — congratulations! You made it one day.
But studies show the odds are against you keeping it for long, with only 10 percent of people successful at not breaking their resolutions. Brain scientist Jeff Stibel says there are scientific reasons for our resolution failures, and that to overcome them, we have to motivate ourselves with the deeper goals behind our resolutions.
He wrote in USA Today: “Be honest: Do you want to work out to look good or to live longer? Do you want to read more to learn or to appear smart? Even if the answer is shallow, own it. Since you can’t trick your brain, the only way to make lasting change is to connect with the deeper meaning and motivation behind your goals.”
Here are some examples he gives:
- Instead of making a resolution to stop smoking, motivate yourself to stay alive longer. Pick an age you want to live until, write it on a card, and keep it in your wallet or purse.
- Instead of making a resolution to lose weight, motivate yourself to feel more energetic.
- Instead of making a resolution to drink less, motivate yourself to enjoy more hangover-free days.