How To Accomplish Your New Year's Resolutions

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - As 2019 inches closer, a lot of people are making their New Year’s Resolutions.

In an effort to explain why so many people set these goals, psychologist Dr. Christian Conte joined KDKA Radio on Monday.

These are the questions that he was asked:

Does it make sense to set lower, attainable goals that are more easily accomplished?

“Yes, because ultimately we want to change something in our lives. We see an area in which we want to improve. To develop a habit, we have to practice it,” Dr. Conte said.

“We have to start with little things that are achievable. Even at the beginning of your day, make a list of what you’re going to do, and then cross it off as you go. You start to get in the mindset of, ‘if I set a goal, I can achieve it.’”

Why do you think that New Year’s Resolutions often fail?

“I think people align their expectations with immediate results. I don’t think that this is necessarily a new phenomenon, but we certainly get more and more in line with thinking that when we want something, we get it,” Dr. Conte explains.

“It’s about a lifestyle change, it’s not about a quick fix. If you want to lose weight, if you want to stop drinking as much, if you want to eat healthier, those are things that are life-long changes.”

If someone were to commit themselves to one New Year’s resolution, what would you want them to choose?

“Two minutes of meditation a day. There is scientific evidence that meditation makes physical changes to your brain,” Dr. Conte tells KDKA Radio.

“I’ve seen it for 20 years. If you get in to that habit enough, you will make physiological changes in your brain and every other area in your life will improve.”

“When you say meditate, what are you thinking?

“The key is to sit still, keep your body still, and be present. It’s not about eliminating your thoughts, it’s not about actively saying prayers,” Dr. Conte added.

“You’re becoming the observer and watching your thoughts. You can almost watch them drive by on a train.”

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