This primitive part has spent millions of years learning to reward us with dopamine when we give in to these kinds of urges. This makes it more difficult to resist when we want to change a behavior. Willpower is like a muscle; the more we use it, the stronger it gets. When you get the urge to cheat, you should distract yourself with something else. Also, remind yourself why you are doing it and what the end result looks like to you.
Want to lose weight? Hang a photo of yourself now on the refrigerator with a list of healthy snacks next to it. As you lose weight, post the new picture next to the original. Celebrate every pound you lose by reminding yourself how healthy you are becoming.
Is your resolution to quit smoking? Instead of going cold turkey, do research about programs and support groups to help you achieve your goal. When you are finally ready to quit, you will know. But don't think it has to be in a set amount of time. Developing habits to live a better life takes time, considering how long it took to develop bad ones.
Instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, set a goal to cut out sweets and eat more vegetables. Instead of promising to go to the gym every day, try to go three times a week. Setting realistic goals is one of the keys to success.
Many people fail at keeping resolutions because they try to change too many things at once. A good rule of thumb is to make only one change at a time. Making too many changes can become overwhelming and self-defeating. Not only will your chances of success rise, your success will motivate you to tackle bigger challenges in the future.
Researchers have found that drinking a glass of orange juice can replenish your self-control. The brain relies on glucose for energy, so a glass of OJ might be just what you need to help you stay on track.
We all get discouraged from time to time, and one way to keep motivated is to watch funny movies, take up a hobby, or do something fun. Keep a journal and write down your accomplishments for the day. It has been shown that writing (with pen and paper) helps us to process our thoughts and remember things better. Keeping a journal also keeps us accountable.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed or get the urge to give up, step back from whatever it is that is stressing you. Take a little break or eat a healthy snack. It's harder to resist something when we are tired, hungry, angry, sad, or stressed.
And finally, if you feel that what you are doing isn’t working, there is nothing wrong with adjusting things as you go. The main thing is that you are creating new and healthy habits that will make you and your life better in the long run.