Here Is How To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Work

December 26, 2017

© Patryk Kosmider - Dreamstime

With the New Year approaching, many take the opportunity to better themselves and resolve to stop or begin something meaningful.  Although many end in failure there are some factual ways to be successful in New Year's resolutions.  For instance, if you resolve to feel more fulfilled, volunteer. People who volunteer as little as two hours each week report greater happiness, sense of purpose, and increased health. Moreover, volunteering is protective in older adults against cognitive and physical decline.  If you resolve to learn a language or skill, you might want to take advantage of "activation effort", which is as simple as the 20 second rule.  If you are able to cut down the energy it takes to get started, the likelihood of you doing the activity increases. For instance, if you want to learn how to play the guitar, store it next to your couch instead of the garage.  Having it closer to you means you are more likely to do it every day. If your resolution is to be more productive, then take more breaks at work! A study found that frequent, short breaks that begin as early as a couple of hours after you begin work are most effective at refreshing employees. Overwork leads to exhaustion and an increase in stress hormones, which can create cycles of burnout. Finally the big one, if you resolve to lose weight, stop focusing on weight. Focusing on how much you weigh can defeat the process of trying to lose weight. Our brains control our body weight at a "set point" within 10-15 pounds, because the brain is hardwired for survival. The brain perceives diets as a threat to survival and increases stress hormones, which are also linked to increased weight gain. Concentrate on a slow and steady regime of regular exercise, good food choices, and stress reduction instead.

SOURCE: Mental Floss

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