This year, I have a lot of New Year’s resolutions. And that could be a problem, because I don’t have a great track record of sticking to my resolutions–especially if they involve stopping a bad habit (like drinking three diet Cokes a day or procrastinating all kinds of things). I always think my resolution sounds very sensible and reasonably easy, but then discover it’s not easy after all. And when I break my resolutions, I don’t feel very good about myself.
I guess I should go a little easier on myself. As the AP article explains, each bad habit we develop changes how our brains are wired, and now those habits are deeply embedded–so much so that in some cases they’re close to automatic (think of biting your fingernails, for example). While changing that wiring is certainly possible, it’s not easy. In a sense, our own brains are conspiring against our best efforts to quit.
Still, I’ll keep trying. After all, trying new things is one of the best ways to challenge your brain and keep it in shape.