MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Heading into the second week of 2021 how are your New Year’s resolutions holding up?
Chances are those big changes you promised to make are already starting to fall back in to your old habits.
“It lasts on average, two weeks, that’s the average it lasts,” said author, speaker and change expert Dr. Michelle Rozen, Ph.D.
Rozen explained that the lifespan is short for most people’s resolutions.
“When you set a goal, it needs to be super specific. And the more specific you are, the more likely you are to follow through,” said Rozen. “So a wish would be for example, this year, I’m going to adopt a lot of healthy habits, I’m going to eat healthier, I’m just going to work out more and be healthier. It’s all good. But that’s a wish. A goal sounds like this: this year, I’m going to lose 10 pounds by Easter, I’m going to walk every day for an hour, and I’m having a salad every day for lunch. That’s it. That’s what I’m doing. So this is something that would stick this is something that is very clear, because this is where you basically tell your own brain, ‘Listen, buddy, we’re going to make some changes here. I don’t care if you feel too lazy to do to do that. Or you’re sort of set in your own ways. I don’t care. This is the plan. This is how it’s going to go down.’ That’s how you succeed.”
Rozen knows that change is hard, whether it’s big or small, and says changing our approach can help us make those changes.
“It’s all about habits. Every time you adopt a habit, there’s a neural pathway that is created in your brain. So I want you to imagine this, imagine that you’re walking in a forest, you’re always going to take the beaten path, when you have a habit, it’s a beaten path in your brain. So the question is, what kind of beaten paths are you creating in your own brain, and that’s up to you, that’s in your hands,” Rozen said. “You can decide, okay I’m going to have a salad for lunch every day for 30 days, believe me on day, 31, day, 32, day 30, you won’t even think about it, it’s not going to be hard. It’s creating that beaten path. "
And then after you’ve created those habits, you can work on your next goal.
“It’s the time to stop and pause and think with yourself, what do I want for myself, for this year, even though it’s hard, even though there’s a lot of uncertainty, what are some things that I can control that can make my life better,” Rozen continued. “So within the scope of what you can do, you challenge yourself, with your habits with those beaten paths in your brain, you challenge yourself to do something that you haven’t done before, or something that you’ve done and you’ve dropped, that will improve your life, improve your health, improve your relationships, improve your finances, the goal is always to get better, and to grow.”