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Success that sticks

By Gabi Powell
Posted on January 13, 2014 | Features | Comments Off on Success that sticks
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Claire Lynch, senior art major from Greenville, works out in the Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center. “Staying Fit and Healthy” is the fifth most cited resolution this year. (Optimist photo by Jared Schuetze)

Jam-packed gyms, penny-pinching and trashed ashtrays are signs of the season for stopping old habits and starting new ones.

“Focus on time management at work and get back into my workout routine,” said ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison.

“Laugh more,” said Janine Morgan, a Core instructor.

“Read the Bible more and then do what it says with a good attitude,” tweeted Shaobeny Johnson, sophomore Ad/PR major from Odessa.

“To finish the KGR Run the West Half Marathon,” wrote SA President Dylan Benac.

Whatever the goal, many in the ACU community have made their vows to be a little better in 2014.

And in two months time, individuals can have achieved success that sticks, said Dr. Richard Beck, associate professor of psychology.

“Research suggests that if you do something everyday, it takes about two months to form a new habit.”

But few of us are ready for that sort of effort, he said.

Studies support his claim; only eight percent of people successfully keep their resolutions, according to 2014 research by the University of Scranton.

Psychologically speaking, Beck said resolutions are hard to keep for a few different reasons.

The key thing to note is that the brain has two different ways of processing information, System 1 and System 2.

“Simply stated, System 1 is what craves stuff and System 2 is what make decisions, like a New Year’s Resolution,” Beck said. “Unfortunately, as we all know, System 1 and System 2 often don’t agree. You can resolve to lose weight this year (System 2) but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to crave sweets (System 1). System 1 and System 2 can want different things.”

Biblically speaking, Beck likened the resolution-keeping challenge to Apostle Paul’s description of System 1 and System 2- the conflict between the “spirit” and the “flesh.”

Romans 7:15-20: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

The New Year’s Eve ball dropped in Time Square and many resolutions followed soon after.

Here’s the key, Beck said, “System 2 needs to do more than make a Resolution. System 2 also needs to create and commit to a habit-formation regimen. Two months of doing something everyday, and sometimes a bit longer. But few of us are ready for that sort of effort.”

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions of 2014 (University of Scranton)

1.) Lose Weight

2.) Getting Organized

3.) Spend Less, Save More

4.) Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5.) Staying Fit and Healthy

6.) Learn Something Exciting

7.) Quit Smoking

8.) Help Others in Their Dreams

9.) Fall in Love

10.) Spend More Time with Family

Tips to Stick With Resolutions (Huffington Post)

1.) Set short-term goals for long-term results.

2.) Make your resolution about the journey, not the outcome.

3.) Schedule time for your resolution.

4.) Employ the buddy system.

5.) State your goals.

6.) Keep Records.

7.) Get an app.

8.) Celebrate little victories.

9.) Reassess your resolutions.

avatar Posted by Gabi Powell on Jan 13th, 2014 and filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 11636 times.

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