Change Your Life!
- Vince Lombardi
The new year is just barely getting started, but all across the land folks are busy gobbling goodies they've passionately pledged to eschew or smoking cigarettes they've solemnly sworn not to touch again. The rap on new year's resolutions — that all too often they're broken almost as soon as they're made — is more than a myth. One survey found that 25% of resolutions bite the dust within a week, and about half do so within six months. And any number of people don't make resolutions at all because they're afraid they'll feel bad if they don't keep them. They may be missing a golden opportunity. Though many resolutions come to grief fairly quickly, many others live to see another day ... or month ... or year. And at least one study has found that the mere act of resolving to change may increase your chances of actually changing — not by just a little, but tenfold.
As the holiday season comes roaring up to greet us with the full force of its excesses, many people surrender to temptation with the explanation that they lack the willpower to resist. This word is used often to explain the inability of folks to stop themselves from eating, drinking, smoking, or engaging in any type of bad habit to which they are attracted. The ability to resist our impulses is commonly described as self-control or willpower. Studies now show that self-control is a limited resource that may be strengthened by the foods we eat. Drink some orange juice. It turns out that glucose is one of the key ingredients that your brain needs for effective self-control. Laughter may also help boost a person’s self-control, as was most convincingly depicted by Boman Irani in all time favorite comedy Munna Bhai MBBS
So if you've made some resolutions or if you want to hurry up and make one, here are some scientifically valid tips for how to maximize your chances of success.
Make sure your resolution is at least theoretically possible and the outcome is at least theoretically in your control. Meaning, don't resolve to lose 50 pounds by tomorrow or to win $50 million in the lottery.
Specificity is better than generality. Resolving to be a better person is a noble goal, of course. But what exactly is "a better person"? Someone who reads more books? Wastes less time? Gives more money to charity? Uses fewer plastic bags?
Avoid extremes and absolutes. If you resolve that never ever again in this lifetime will you eat the tiniest little tidbit of chocolate, then your resolution is setting yourself up to fail with just one nibble.
The biggest difference between those who kept their resolutions and those who didn't was their confidence beforehand that they could do it.
There's a universal principle for realizing potential: things will flourish spontaneously when the conditions are right. Apart from relying on willpower, create those conditions in advance.
A sequoia seed is an unimpressive thing -- about an inch long, smaller than an apricot pit. And if you drop it on concrete, or linoleum, not much happens. Yet it contains the complete blueprint for creating a huge sequoia tree - one of the oldest, largest organisms on the planet. So the seed has the potential to become something pretty impressive. But when it's stuck in the wrong spot, it'll just shrivel up or get eaten by birds. On the other hand, let's say this sequoia seed fell on some nice, moist earth. And let's say a passerby happened to bury the seed under the earth. Now the seed's got a chance. And according to its innate program, it will start to grow spontaneously. At first, a wispy little thing. Then it puts out a root system and becomes self-sustaining. Pretty soon, it'll be it's own little ecosystem and provide shelter and food for thousands of other creatures. Sometimes the right conditions are about preventing harmful events. If a bird swoops down and eats the seed, end of story.
Now with people, we have a similar scenario. We all have vast amounts of talent and potential within ourselves; most of us just don't tap into them as much as possible.
I usually don’t make resolutions because I find them so difficult to keep. But, if I do make one I see to it that it is not too difficult to keep. For instance my most recent resolution was to spend more time commenting on other blogs than writing my own. Building relationships with other bloggers is important, I have realized. This profound experience of engaging other bloggers in conversation about the interests they share is, indeed, very exhilarating. I must acknowledge here that I was motivated to make this resolution by many of my fellow bloggers and readers who were kind to make comments on my blogs from time to time and enriched me with their views by posting comments on my blog posts. I thought if they could do it, why can't I. This year my wife and I resolved to turn vegetarian. It was no easy task to make such a resolution especially when we had always remained non-vegetarian all our life and we still have to occasionally cook non-veg cousin whenever our son and more particularly our daughter-in-law have craving for Mom- cooked chicken tikka masala or mutton biryani. In making this resolution the motivation was provided mainly by the prestigious institution PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), particularly its celebrity members like Amitabh Bachchan, Paul McCartney and former president Bill Clinton, who is reported to have become its member recently. The thought is the same, if they can do it why can't we.
Bottom-line is while making a resolution, make sure it is practically possible to keep it and you have the will to make it work. With this mantra in mind, go ahead and make your New Year's resolution, even if belatedly, and change your life.