My New Year Resolution Experiment & Super Hack

To save my failing resolutions during the second half of January, I tricked my brain into treating my good habits as those ultra-satisfying bad ones.
My New Year Resolution Experiment & Super Hacks -Dr. Ivy Ge

Do you know January 19 is the “Quitters Day”? That is the day most people likely give up their New Year’s resolutions.

Sure enough, barely two weeks into January, I already broke two resolutions I’d planned. One was to practice diaphragmatic breathing every day (to help improve my lung function after four rib fractures a few months ago); the other one was to quit eating cheerio as a snack (yes, I eat them out of a jar like most people eat M&M’s)

When my friends shared their quitting stories, I did a deep dive into quitting.

Why do we quit the things that are good for us?

The most common reasons include setting goals that are too big, too busy, not being committed, etc. All are legitimate reasons to ditch our BHAG (big hairy audacious goals) and settle into our old routine.

Why do we keep doing things that are bad for us?

Ever thought about why it is so easy to pick up a bad habit and stay committed forever?

Scientists have studied this subject for a while. To summarize their findings, bad habits are much easier to follow and give us instant rewards than good habits. No need for willpower at all.

The New Year Resolution Experiment & Super Hack

To save my failing resolutions during the second half of January, I decided to trick my brain into treating my good habits as those ultra-satisfying bad ones. Here are the details:

So, I revised my New Year resolutions into something super easy to do and rewarded myself for my progress.

Diaphragmatic Breathing:

Instead of committing to doing 15 minutes of belly breathing a day, I only needed to take one proper deep breath. On the first day, I took three such breaths, and I count the extras toward my rewards. As the days went by, I found it fairly easy to do fifteen belly breaths a day. Talk about habit building.

Stop Eating Cheerios:

Instead of cutting Cheerios entirely out of my diet, I counted out 50 cheerios each day. Because of the limited quantity, I ate them one by one, savoring the texture and taste in my mouth. Interestingly enough, I no longer craved for more, and even had leftovers at the end of the day. Of course, I counted them toward my rewards!

My Reward:

For every 100 bonus points, I earn $10 to spend on myself. Now, at the end of my two-week experiment, I’ve made over $15. Yay!!! There are so many little gadgets I want to buy!  

My New Year Resolution Experiment & Super Hack - The Art of Good Enough

How are you keeping up with your resolutions? If you’re doing well, congratulations! If not, want to give my resolution hack a try?

Need more help with challenges in your life? Get my award-winning book here. 

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Want to make wiser decisions? Click here.

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Dr. Ivy Ge

Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough and Life Transformation Journal. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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