New Year's resolutions: Why 88% of them fail and how can we make them real?


If you want to change yourself and be better, I think this is a very nice and inspiring thing.

And it seems that the majority is thinking the same thing: 50% of the American people makes one or more new year decisions (unfortunately no research on Turkey).

Pretty spectacular! However, according to researcher Richard Wiseman, it is not that much; 88% of those who made these decisions, and possibly other people in many parts of the world, also fail. 150 million odd failed decisions and every year a lot of disappointed people.

These numbers really made me think. I wanted to understand why we are so bad about implementing our decisions and what we can do to carry them out.

Here is a little more science about the scientific facts behind the New Year's resolutions and how you can change yourself better:

Your brain doesn't understand Christmas decisions - that's why

The need to remain faithful to our New Year's decisions is voluntary. Our brain cells running the will are found in the prefrontal cortex, the area just behind our forehead.

This particular area of ​​the brain is also responsible for focusing, resolving short-term memory and abstract tasks.

Now, when you decide on the New Year, you need a huge amount of will. It's an amount your brain can't handle. More scientifically, what is inside the prefrontal cortex is the best explained with Dr. Shiv's experience with the Stanford experiment:

"A group of undergraduate students was divided into two groups. A group was given a two-digit number to remember. A seven-digit number was given to remember the other. Later, after a short walk in the hall, a selection of two aperitifs was presented: a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit. The most amazing thing: the 7-digit number of students to remember was twice as high as the possibility of choosing chocolate cake compared to 2-digit students."

What is the reason of this? Professor Clearly according to Shiv:

”Extra numbers occupied a valuable place in the brain - we call them bu cognitive burden sel - which made it even harder for them to resist dessert.“

The prefrontal cortex, which governs the will, is like a muscle that needs to be trained according to Tony Schwartz. If you decide to train these muscles at the beginning of a new year to quit smoking, start a gym, or lose weight, it is like trying to lift a weight of 300 pounds without getting an advance training or practicing the body.

It's no surprise that your brain can't afford that much weight.

Decisions Against Habits - Why unqualified aspirations do not work

"New year's decisions - what a big mistake. People don't choose certain behaviors, they choose abstractions" says BJ Fogg of Stanford University.