New Year sounds like new beginnings. Ring a bell…time for resolutions! The idea of New Year always makes us believe to reformat our lives just like we reset our computers but in reality, the first day of New Year is just a calendar event. Nevertheless, the concept of a fresh start drives us to reorganize and work towards our happiness and wash away the discerning experiences. It is wise to inculcate the desired mental makeup before we engage in making fresh resolutions.
Before we make fresh resolutions, it is important to understand why resolutions fail in the first place. Below mentioned are some of the factors that make it difficult for us to stick to our resolutions:
How to make habits and sustain them for a longer time?
Habits are behaviors that are performed and reinforced routinely. The habits that are more convenient, rewarding, and for which we feel more accountable are sustained for a longer time. To maintain convenience, we must make sure that our goals are well structured and organized as we are naturally prone to avoid or delay something that is chaotic or complicated. To transform a behavior into a habit, we must not overdo it in the beginning; rather we must be gradual in our approach. For example, the more sustainable way of quitting tobacco is to do reduce the number gradually and avoiding high-risk situations followed by a genuine appreciation of our success. We must be easy with ourselves if we fail; it is persistence that is important to be successful. We must not count or rate our success on the basis of external validation only. It should be convincing to oneself more than others. Accountability comes mostly when we are intrinsically motivated to do something. Accountability encourages self-regulation and self-control.
Also, we must not expose ourselves to multiple changes at a time. It makes us feel pressurized and burnt out leading to incomplete tasks resulting in the generalized belief that “I am not good for anything” or “I am a loser.”
Why is it difficult to learn or start new behavior after a particular age?
Any change demands a state of openness or acceptance. Nevertheless, age can be a detrimental factor in learning something new or unlearning. As people grow with experiences, there is a tendency towards aligning with the favorable decisions made in the past and indulge in self-serving attributions towards automatic internal attribution. This results in a firm automatic belief for lesser consideration of external attribution resulting in inflexibility and mental set.
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