Your Brain is Wired to Break New Year’s Resolutions

Odille Remmert
4 min readJan 3, 2022

Trying to stick to New Year resolutions without changing the way your brain is wired is like trying to push a shopping cart with a wonky wheel — you know, the one that keeps veering off to one side when you’re trying to push it in a straight line? As long as that wheel is wonky, you’ll need to fight with the cart to keep it going in the direction you want it to go.

But, once you change that wheel — put a new wheel in its place — then the cart will automatically go in any direction you choose to push it! It’s the same with the unconscious part of your brain. Change the “wonky” programming, and your brain and body will automatically respond to your new decisions and choices, without your needing to push!

Image Credit:

Are you still making resolutions at the beginning of each year? Or have you given up the practice because you find yourself feeling worse when you break them… again?
From stopping smoking, eating more healthily, and starting a new exercise routine to taking more action towards your goals and responding differently when your buttons are pressed, of the resolutions you’ve made over the years, can you remember how many you’ve been able to keep? How long did they last?

There’s a key piece of information that can help you to not only understand why you keep breaking your resolutions, but what you can do to make sure that you make those transformations permanent this time!

It’s Not Your Decision!

It may seem like you are making your choices and decisions consciously in the moment; but the truth is, it is the unconscious part of your brain that prompts your body to cause you to make decisions based on existing programming.

Here are a few examples:

If you are used to eating potato chips when you get back from work in the evenings to comfort and reward yourself for a hard day’s work, you are no longer making that choice consciously. Your brain is now wired to signal your body to prompt you to choose the potato chips when you get home. You will find that your body is expecting that snack at that time. There is a physical connection in your brain between the time, the environment, and that particular food.



Odille Remmert

Author of: "Change What Happened to You: How to Use Neuroscience to Get the Life You Want by Changing Your Negative Childhood Memories"