New Year’s Resolutions Doomed to Fail?

Isn’t it wonderful how we submit to the pixie dust of year end’s magic? besides running here and there to present our best image, our best table and food, our best dress, house, etc, we also enter into a magic territory when it is necessary to design vital goals for us. Because? Just because now, only now, there is an open door to making them happen!

Yeah, right.

Year after year we have promised ourselves to exercise more, eat better and fight fair with our loved ones. It’s not that we ignore the improvement areas in our lives, far from that! Is that it looks more and more like a dialogue of deaf people, an impossible conversation between out higher self images, provided by the more developed parts of our brain, and an old, reptilian core of primitive survival forces located at the base of our head.

We, rational beings, know exactly how much good it would do us to keep an exercise structure…and cherish this wish as if we had an only rational decision-maker in our brain. What is what we deny or ignore? Other parts of our brain…

Even when we don’t know it, we are split and two parts of our brain compete for dominance. Facing a threat to the status quo, your reptilian brain reacts automatically to this planned change as an imaginary attack to the status quo.  What are the choices that the rational, thinking cortex has of winning and imposing an excellent program of exercise over this primal resistance? Almost zero.

The brain stem is the oldest and smallest region in the evolving human brain. It evolved hundreds of millions of years ago and is more like the entire brain of present-day reptiles. For this reason, it is often called the ‘reptilian brain’. Group of cells in the brain stem determine the brain’s general level of alertness and regulate the vegetative processes of the body such as breathing and heartbeat.  It’s concerned with fundamental needs such as survival, physical maintenance, hoarding, dominance, preening and mating. The basic ruling emotions of love, hate, fear, lust, and contentment are generated from this first stage of the brain.

Everything else, (including our self improvement plans) the reptilian brain ignores or leaves behind.

How can you convince your primitive brain that losing weight and starting a running program will be beneficial? Not with logic, of course! The primitive brain continues to feel only basic emotions….so you need to make a nice package:

Wanna change a big part of your personality, like beginning therapy, stoping smoking or controlling anger in your relationship? These are major changes, so you need to plan for the component of seducing your older brain into loving the new activity.

~Convince yourself that you are not changing your life because of running, you are only “adding up to life maintenance routines” feel proud about that;

~Remember the previous (and smaller) behaviors in each time of your life (like when you did learn meditation), recover that attitude and then teach yourself anger management techniques…they are only a continuation of what your brain already knows!

~ In short, you are embracing the basic brain reactions, and building upon them, not uprooting them. We yield to our primitive, survival emotions by accepting them and building upon them…Nothing wrong to include a plan to deal with our basic resistance while dreaming with new behaviors promised in our new year resolutions, but keep in touch with your reptilian core…and throw it a bone! Otherwise, your dreams will go up in smoke as last year!

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her coaching site today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She’s ready to help!

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