It is that time of year, when we resolve to do all sorts of things better, more, less, etc. I personally love New Years Resolutions, it reminds me how far I've come and how far I still need to go (this blog was one of last year's resolutions). What is your opinion on the resolution? Do you have one? Do you have any for the blog? The next few posts are going to be all about the Resolution.
In most people's experience, their resolutions don't last more than a few days. Why is this? Can anything be done to change that? Yes! Thanks to STEM :)
The articles listed below all note that 88% of resolutions fail. It is human nature to stick with routine behavior, which makes change difficult. Additionally our prefrontal cortex can only handle so much, it engages so many of our daily tasks that adding one more creates a higher chance of failure in other tasks. So what are we to do?
With regard to willpower, it, like other skills, can be practiced and approved upon. One of the best ways to strengthen willpower is through distraction! When a cookie calls your name for example (they do for me at least) try turning up the radio and shifting your attention elsewhere. Another technique is to bypass your prefrontal cortex slightly, enabling the "hard wire" areas to work for you. This is done via
visualizing past successes, modeling someone else's behavior and vicarious learning. The best analogy for visualization that I can think of is tracks in a road. Over time, those tracks become set and unbreakable. When we visualize, we are laying down tracks that over time become the go to place when it comes time for actual behavior. I think the other techniques can provide that similar input without the overthinking that comes in our prefrontal cortex. When we do think, it should be positive, because this creates better conditions for success! Another way to improve your resolution chances comes from the field of organizational development, and that is tracking your behavior. When you listed it out, it is a reminder and visual display of what you've accomplished. You can use apps or plain old paper, as long as you are consistent. Well, I hope this helps your resolutions! Please feel free to share Your tips, tricks, etc and next time, we will look at resolutions For STEM :)
For more information check out these articles
Have a great diverse STEM day!