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How Can We Make Better Resolutions?

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

In two thousand and four in a tiny town. A young woman named Rebecca Gould was brutally murdered nearly fifteen years later her killer is still on the loose. It's just really surreal walking around. Ideal. Mention so much ear to guys out there yell depressed, dude. I'm Katherine towns. And this is Helen gone binge all of season one now at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. Hey, bring stuff I'm Lauren Boga bomb and the concept of creating New Year's resolutions is so ingrained in US culture that the government keeps a list of popular resolutions and resources for achieving them. It's a baker's dozen of good intentions including drink alcohol. Eat healthy food, get a better education. Get a better job get fit managed at manage stress and recycle digital research. Backs up this lists universality. According to a twenty eleven Marced university poll losing weight top the list for one in five resolution making Americans closely followed by exercising more with spending less than saving more quitting smoking. And being a better person all tied for third. But is it true that most people don't keep their resolutions? The answer as many of us around the house to forks office were relieved to discover appears to be a resounding. Yes. Richard Wiseman as I collagen and author with a penchant for mass participation experiments found that fifty two percent of people making New Year's resolutions or confident that they'd stick it out yet only a scant twelve percent really did. So why bother a New Year's resolutions are as one author wrote a triumph of hope over experience there a way to quantify what we wish for selves, their means of cataloging, our personal satisfactions, and perhaps most importantly their method of racing errors of the past year. Yes. New Year's resolutions are all about hopefulness. And it's always been that way. Of course ringing in the new year isn't a construct of modern Americans some four thousand years ago by balloons rang in their new year with an eleven day festival in March and ancient Egyptians celebrated the advent of their new calendar during the Nile rivers annual flood by forty six BC e Roman emperor Julius Caesar had moved the first day of the year to January first in honor of the Roman God of beginnings. Janice, an idea that took some time. To catch on however in fifteen eighty to see pope, Gregory, the eighth breath January first new year back in vogue with the Gregorian. Calendar. A concept the persists today. The origin of making New Year's resolutions rests with the Babylonians who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes that earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt. Sound familiar? Many of us are still making that resolution today. So what's the secret to actually keeping it just wanting something to change is not enough? You need a strategy to make it stick one way to do. This is to share your resolution with others. We spoke with Joe Ferrari, professor of psychology at depaul university in Chicago as he pointed out when you keep resolutions secret. No one is going to check up on you. You're only accountable to yourself. He says that a party to publicly share your resolutions an admirable way to ring in the new year. Social media offers another avenue to let others and on your goals. But once you've involved others in your resolutions. What steps can you? You take to ensure that when they do check up on you. You'll have something positive to report. Success of your New Year's resolutions starts in your head limiting yourself to a few resolutions, maybe even one and being specific are a few things to keep in mind. This prevents overload and frustration for example, I want to lose ten pounds by March first or I want to save fifty dollars each paycheck. The best goals are challenging but manageable, and that's a sensitive balance that only you can find for yourself overly ambitious goals can drain a person's confidence when they're not met instead build on small observable victories and possibly achieve bigger goals down the line and take things on one at a time. Whatever goals, you do tackle be sure to monitor your progress. Ferrari said if your resolution is to lose weight check your weight regularly if it's to save money right down where you spent your money monitoring those few challenging goals, you set will dramatically improve your success rate. Sometimes just the active recording everything you eat or spend can cause you to eat or spend less, even if you don't consciously change anything else. Whatever. Your New Year's goals. Give yourself some time to make them a reality more time than you may have planned on actually while most people cling to the widespread belief that new habits can be formed in twenty one days. New research is Justin that we need a longer timetable one. We study found that it took participants average of sixty six days to do something different and stick with it. Today's episode was written by loyal dove and produced by Tyler clang for more on this and lots of other fresh topics. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com. I'm Katie golden. I studied psychology and evolutionary biology at Harvard, and I pretend to be a bird on Twitter and my new podcast creature feature. We've you nature in man from a new perspective each episode asking comedian to get inside the minds of animals, so we can explore the startling connections to human psychology, you'll find blood bounds and treachery that make game of thrones seemed like a dumb show for babies. Join us every Wednesday and subscribe on apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.