With a month under our belt, I hope your 2019 is shaping up to be the best yet. This past year, I completed the manuscript of my new book Outthinking Fear: A Neurosurgeon’s Secrets To Making Life’s Tough Decisions and had one of the most productive years in my career yet. This was a big reason to celebrate 2018, but has also given me so much to look forward to in 2019.
At the end of 2018, I reflected on the year and thought about my new year’s resolutions. As January approached and I finalized my goals, I started to really think through the brain’s role in determining if our resolutions succeed or fail. I shared my 4-step strategy on Business Insider – with each step I discussed how to create good habit formation with your brain. When we are pleased by the results of an action, dopamine is released, which makes us feel good. Over time, this association with feeling good can make a behavior automatic. The key to building these good habits is to establish a foundation that makes better behaviors automatic.