Mode Choc - Le Blogue

Down with Resolutions!

Écrit le : 5 janvier 2016

Let it be said, the holiday season is exhausting. After the extra stress, races against the clock, parties, evenings, dinners, brunches, juggling schedules and activities to keep the kids busy while you are trying to get some work done from home between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the last thing we need is to be consumed with guilt.


New Year’s resolutions always stem from good intentions, but we must admit that they are primarily there to remind us that we have failed in something, that we are not as perfect as we would like to be; that might be hurtful.

A really interesting study (read in an equally relevant article) from British psychologist Richard Wiseman, explains that on an analysis of 3000 subjects, 88% of resolutions have been unfulfilled. Why? Simply because the part of the brain that deals with willpower is also responsible for the functions that allow, among other things, to keep focused, to have short-term memory, and to solve abstract problems. So, asking it to lose weight is often… one thing too many. (1)


So, having willpower for a short or medium-term objective requires a lot of energy from our brain and we can ask ourselves the question: do we really have THE energy? In the middle of January, the severe cold weather, the darkness, the routine re-emergence are really not the best case scenarios to find willpower, especially when we know that our brain unfortunately was not built for success.

Why then adopt resolutions if our mental faculties are not programmed to keep them? An additional reason to feel guilty? No, thanks.

This might be sound quite defeatist, but in fact, all is not lost. The prefrontal cortex is a muscle and it is possible to exercise it as we exercise any other parts of our body by practicing a discipline in sphere chosen field, for example, posture. This way, our willpower becomes stronger; it accumulates energy for challenges ahead. Once we have learned to withstand cookies in the pantry, we are ready to modify behaviours. Remember: habits must be changed one at the time, one must remain realistic. (3)


So, stand straight, take time for yourself and see for the resolutions in March!

What are your tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions?


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