Sunday, January 29, 2023

Psychology and Health: Why Don’t We Make New Year’s Resolutions?

as the year ends we begin Set yourself new challenges, Which most of the time coincides with the previous year and the previous and so on…

are the classics reduce weight, join the gym give up smoking, Study a language, Save money, Improve interpersonal relationships, clean things at home What we don’t use… In psychology, these motives are called self-initiated behavior change efforts.

Maybe the first month, more or less we face these challenges but In February these motives begin to subside. It is true that at least 40% of those who set goals keep them for six months, while only 4% of those who propose nothing keep them for a few months.

It has been observed that there are a range of attitudes and ideas that do not help at all. On the one hand, the wishful thinking: “Believing that everything will be fine just by wanting it” is counterproductive and shows that the objective is first abandoned. On the other hand, the Feeling guilty or criticizing yourself: Telling ourselves “I’m weak, I’m not capable, I don’t have the willpower” makes us feel bad and fall into behaviors we want to avoid as soon as possible.

It would be interesting to consider your New Year’s resolutions before Ask yourself a series of questions:

  • is one realistic goals With my circumstances and my current position? I have a 6 month old baby and a 2 year old boy and I want to play for two hours every day and my partner works in the afternoon. Such a goal may not be realistic.
  • is it a purpose concrete and specific? Lose weight or gain 10 kilos.
  • how do i know i am get my challenges And if I go ahead?
  • what obstacles Am I going to find myself and what can I do to avoid or heal them?
  • morning Ready to carry out? And yes Obstacle, To treat me with kindness and affection?

there are many to these questions factors and strategies What else can help us and what works:

, self-efficacy. It is the belief that we have faith in our abilities to achieve what we set out to do.

, It seems to be at just the right moment. In other words, being ready to initiate a change and ready to make that change involves a period of preparation.

, Clear strategies for this behavior change:

it is necessary to install concrete and attainable goals, For example, playing sports for 30 minutes a day and not playing sports every day; Losing 8 kilos is not the same as a resolution to lose weight.

Plan and estimate goals. For example, next Saturday we are going to have dinner with friends, we already know that in the past we have to take better care of ourselves; Or if the workload is heavy during the working day and we cannot exercise in the afternoon, we can get up half an hour earlier to go for a walk.

Establish strategies to avoid risky situations. If we love the pastry shop we used to go to, avoid walking past it; If we are quitting smoking, at least in the beginning, until we feel stronger, don’t go to bars where we meet acquaintances.

Add sticky notes with reminders. I saw some time ago for people who wanted to lose weight and put a reminder on the fridge: “You’re not hungry, you’re just bored”; Write another on a pack of tobacco: “You smoke only three cigarettes a day.” On mobile, alarm for walking…

Companion Habits. That is, linking a new habit with another that already exists: for example, drinking 1 liter of water at breakfast, exercising before dinner, calling a friend after work.

create a daily or weekly log About the challenges that we have set ourselves. For example, in weighing in, weigh yourself every week and write it down; In exercise, write in the diary every day how much exercise we have done; In case of quitting smoking, write down one more day without smoking or how many cigarettes we smoked if we decided to reduce the number of cigarettes.

premium. What rewards do we get when we meet the weekly goals we set for ourselves? This is always better in the short term, as reinforcing effects build up and will encourage us to continue with those new behaviors.

Let’s not be so hard on ourselves. It is normal to have some stumbles and it does not mean that we do not have willpower. If one day we have gone too far with food, the next day, instead of continuing to eat, we will have a day of more vegetables; Or if we didn’t play the scheduled game yesterday, we won’t have to double the next day, since then we won’t be able to lace up our shoes. Let’s forgive each other and allow ourselves to stumble someday.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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