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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resolution #25: Listen to what Future Self wants

 My New Year's resolution-- to write a blog each day in January about resolutions-- is close to being met.  Whew! I am feeling proud.  At times I have the attention span of a fruit fly and the discipline of a labrador puppy.   I surprised myself by sticking to it. These last few posts will be about bettering your chances of making changes and moving toward the life you want.

Every January, about 45% of Americans resolve to better themselves in one or more ways.  Over a third of that group never even get started.  Most of the rest give up before meeting their goals.  According to Lauran Neergaard, AP medical writer, our brains are hard-wired to respond quickly to immediate rewards, and that's what most bad habits offer us. Future self wants to retire with savings, but present self needs to get that upgraded IPad. Future self may want to be thin, but present self really, really wants another slice of pie.   And that instant hit of dopamine from pie in the mouth is a lot more tangible than pie in the sky.

To help motivate yourself, get a better picture of where you want to be.  It's a lot easier to get somewhere you want if you have a destination in mind.

If your long term goal is a big one, picture the results.  Then ask yourself what you can do today to walk in that direction.  When temptation is at hand, ask future self what it wants-- then distract, refocus, or find some less-harmful way to hit that reward system.

More on goal setting tomorrow--
Today's song by the luminous Karen Savoca.

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