The Reason Your Brain Can’t Handle Most New Year’s Resolutions – Blaine Pollock

Are you one of 50% of Americans setting a New Year’s Resolution this year?  Wanting to change is inspiring and is a wonderful thing.

What is not so wonderful is that 88% of those set resolutions fail, which equals about 156 million disappointed resolutions and people each and every year.

Here is the science behind setting a new year’s resolution and science on how you can actually change yourself for the better:

Will power is what we need to stick to our new year’s resolutions. Your brain cells that operate willpower are located in the prefrontal cortex, which is right behind your forehead. That area of the brain is also responsible for staying focused, handling short-term memory and solving abstract tasks.

When you set a new year’s resolution, a massive amount of willpower is required. It’s an amount that your brain basically can’t handle.  So your pre-frontal cortex that handles willpower is like a muscle, and it needs to be trained.  If you decide to train that muscle at the start of the New Year with a resolution to start working out, or quit smoking, that is like the equivalent of a 300 pound barbell you want to lift without any kind of training.

The key is to make any goal a habit first.  Start with easy goals like this:

Resolution: Quit Smoking

Habit: Stop smoking that one cigarette you have every morning with your coffee.

Resolution: Eat healthier

Habit:  Have a banana instead of that daily morning pastry.

Resolution: Manage Stress

Habit: Meditate every morning for 3 minutes after you wake up.

Resolution: Lose weight:

Habit:  Every night go for a 10 minute walk around your neighborhood.


So if you’ve set yourself a few big new changes, here are the most important things to consider to actually changing yourself for the better:

  1. Pick one Resolution


  1. Make it a Small Habit


  1. Hold yourself responsible. Write it down or tell others.


  1. Reward yourself



Author: Blaine Pollock