When January rolls around, many Americans make one or more New Year’s resolutions. Over a third of adults plan to quit smoking, lose weight, get out of debt, stop forgetting stuff, and make other lifestyle changes.
But many people have a hard time sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Studies have shown that by the end of January, about a third had given up, but another half was successfully working on their goals into March. That shows the longer you stick with it, the more apt you’ll be successful.
Change of any sort can feel like you’re “swimming against the tide.” Many people are afraid of New Year’s resolutions because they feel they are not adaptive enough to succeed.
If you’ve made resolutions before but didn’t succeed, don’t worry. Yesterday is history. All that matters today is where you’re headed in 2013 with your resolutions.
Improving Your Memory
Have you ever wished you could remember things better? Maybe you are experiencing “CRS” or “can’t remember stuff.” The good news is you can resolve to have a healthier brain in 2013 and stop CRS.
An improved memory is a goal on many people’s wish lists as they age. If you are worried about losing your mental capacity as you get older, don’t let that hold you back. You can improve your memory and stop experiencing CRS or that nagging feeling of “not remembering stuff.”
Many people would like to improve their memory but they don’t know where to start. One good way is by recognizing that achieving New Year’s resolutions gives you a fresh opportunity to change your life.
Some ways you can boost your cognitive skills are by taking classes, engaging in regular social activities, playing board games and taking up new hobbies and learning new skills.
Better Results Start Here
Change often comes from deep inside and from a strong commitment to wanting to change.
Here are some ideas for improving your memory and making changes.
• Write your goals down – on paper or on your computer. There’s an old adage that if your words “come out of the ends of your fingers” you’ll be more apt to focus on them.
• Share resolutions with others. Tell people about your goals so you have accountability and support on your side.
• Focus on the benefits of achieving the resolution. Instead of worrying about not meeting your expectations, tell yourself how proud you are to be taking the first steps toward success.
• Set specific goals that are reachable. Instead of setting a goal of losing 50 pounds, break it into smaller steps toward the bigger goal.
• Give yourself a hug for each step that you accomplish.
• Remember, you can change, it is possible. Change can happen when you see the value in the journey of the change, not just change for change sake.
The Choice Is Yours
As you’re reading this you may feel this year you’re ready to make changes, and you would like to improve many things in your life, including having a healthier brain.
Keep in mind that change requires a leap of faith -– that you can become the person you want to be.
Here are some other ways you can step up and attack your goals this year:
• Set up a supportive environment. Make sure the activities and people close to you support your goals.
• Pinpoint potential obstacles, and then work around them. If your goal is to lose weight but your lifestyle means you eat out a lot, look at online menus before you go out. You can decide on healthy choices before you get swayed by less healthy options at the restaurant.
• Recognize forks in the road. There will always be opportunities to get off course. Step back, take a deep breath and choose the “fork” that keeps you on track.
• Have patience. Remember, any positive change takes time and patience.
Mark Underwood is a neuroscience researcher, president and co-founder of Quincy Bioscience, a biotech company located in Madison, Wisconsin focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel technologies to support cognitive function and other age-related health challenges such as memory. He is also a contributor to the “Brain Health Guide” which highlights the research at Quincy Bioscience and offers practical tips to help keep healthy brain function in aging. More information can be found at www.quincybioscience.com.