Washington, Jan 2 (UNI) You have made the resolution of drinking less, exercising more, spending quality time with your loved ones or simply being a better person in the new year.
But the real problem arises when it comes to keeping the promises made to ourselves. All the how-to you need appears in the January issues of tabloids and magazines. Yet only 10 per cent of people who make resolutions actually succeed, surveys reveal.
The rest get busy with with food and sex and fighting and smoking and saying yes to all the things that make them feel good instantly.
''We don't typically think about other animals having self-control struggles,'' Angela Duckworth of University of Pennsylvania said.
''Dogs don't grapple with what they wan't to do and what they should not do.'' While the evolution of dogs stopped with the subcortex, humans developed a sophisticated frontal lobe, the brain area that controls reason and other higher order functions which restricts humans from blindly following their desires, she explained.
Hence, the battle of the resolution. The older brain is strong and ingrained. But the newer part is what defines our humanity. ''We realise that continual resolutions are better than none at all, because they are what prevent us from losing all resolution. We make resolutions because they keep us human,'' The Washington Post quoted Ms Duckworth as saying.
Anthropologist Lionel Tiger's research explored why people continued to make resolutions they would not keep, and think positively despite massively bumming contrary evidence. ''As hunter-gatherers we had no choice but to be optimistic. If we didn't overestimate our chances, we wouldn't have even bothered to get out of the cave in the morning,'' he said.
UNI XC SYU RN1830