On the power of perspective

So, how are you holding up when it comes to those new year’s resolutions? Apparently, this is the week in which most people fail to meet the expectations they set for themselves. It is no easy task to change behavior, especially not when they are habits that are deeply engrained in our system. In fact, habit is one of the most powerful predictors of, for example, eating behavior – ‘when behavior is habitual, people require little information to make decisions, intentions are poor predictors of behavior, and behavior is triggered by situational cues.’

Or as Seneca said it – ‘The mind unlearns with difficulty what it has long learned’.

So maybe, instead of beating yourself up about falling back into these comfortable, reassuring patterns of behavior that feel like your favorite snug winter coat and seem to make up part or your identity, we could try a different approach. How about just looking on the bright side of your supposedly bad behavior? Because really, who are you to judge yourself? We all have our little quirks and crazies and we might feel we need to change things only because others (be it people in our environment or the media) tell us it is ‘bad’. But is there even a good and bad? And is there ever only one side to a story? We’ve all heard about how a glass of wine day can be good for your cardiovascular system or how eating chocolate can really lift your mood, and we can go on in this way to find arguments to justify our ‘bad habits’. That saves a lot of frustration. So, there you go. Find what feels good and just stick with it.

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