Training These 4 Cognitive Skills May Help Your Brain Get Ready for New Year's Resolutions

Goal-oriented behavior requires mental energy, cognitive skills, and planning. CogniFit helps increase neuroplasticity to prepare for upcoming changes in habits. Training different cognitive skills may help complete a person's New Year's resolutions.

The new year is almost here! In only a few days, people will be celebrating the beginning of 2019 and thinking of what goals to set for themselves. However, most people set different New Year’s resolutions each year but can’t manage to keep them for more than two months, let alone the whole year. Researchers explain that this is because goal-oriented behavior requires mental energy, cognitive skills, and planning. This means that the brain needs to be prepared to maintain the goal-behavior for longer periods of time in order to make it a habit. Dr. Pychyl, associate professor of psychology at Carleton University, establishes that habits are connections of neurons that work together and have been beneficial over time. The more we execute the habitual behavior, the stronger those neuronal connections will become in the brain.

CogniFit understands the importance of goal-oriented behavior and optimizing neuron connection. A world leader in neuropsychological testing, brain training, and cognitive stimulation, CogniFit has been training, for over 15 years, executive functions which are a set of cognitive skills necessary for controlling and self-regulating your behavior. This training also focuses on helping increase neuroplasticity, which helps neurons to regenerate, and forms new synaptic connections. These two main cognitive aspects are basic when creating new habits or modifying old ones. Maintaining a behavior for longer periods of time requires regularly practicing it in order for neuroplasticity to occur. However, this change demands not only physical aspects but also cognitive ones. In order to accomplish New Year’s resolutions and make new habits, the brain needs to be ready to assume the behavior challenge that means this change.

CogniFit neuropsychologist expert Estefania Egea explains that “if we want to successfully achieve our New Year’s Resolutions, we need to focus on our goals. Our brain is designed to incorporate new behaviors and routines, but it requires a great deal of effort over time. The prefrontal part of our brain is closely related to the ability to plan our own behavior. It helps us to be able to organize ourselves and follow an established plan, which is crucial for our brain to give time to turn our purpose into a habit. CogniFit allows us to train our planning ability and other executive functions, which are closely related to achieving our New Year’s Resolutions. These cognitive skills will help us to regulate our own behavior.”

Another study by Dr. O’Hare from Duke University (2017), suggests that nerve cells stick together when an enjoyable habit is formed. Therefore, it's clear that to form a habit, the brain must be prepared, and it must be something pleasurable in order for it to stick over time.

CogniFit neuropsychologists suggest training these 4 cognitive skills, that work together, to help people achieve their New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Planning: It is a fundamental cognitive skill that focuses on the ability to "think about the future" or mentally anticipate the right way to carry out a task or reach a specific goal. Training this ability will help set, organize and follow the specific steps for New Year’s Resolutions.

  2. Shifting: It is the ability to adapt thoughts and behaviors to new situations. This is an important cognitive skill to train when wanting to incorporate new behaviors and habits to daily life. It helps the brain mold to the changing behavior set in the planning phase.

  3. Inhibition: It is the ability to control impulsive and automatic responses. This is an important phase of training because the person has to focus on a new task and ignore other habits that might not be in the new year goals. It allows for a person to set their attention to the new goal-behavior and reason why other old habits might not be great for their objectives.

  4. Updating: Once you have planned, adapted your thoughts, ignored previous behavior now the best thing would be to supervise everything is going according to plan. This ability is perfect for that purpose.

New Year’s resolutions are probably the hardest to maintain, however, remember that everything requires time and effort to achieve.

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About CogniFit

CogniFit is a global leader in developing online programs to assess and train core cognitive areas such as attention, memory, coordination, perception, and reasoning. As a digital health company, CogniFit specializes in scientifically validated cognitive tests and brain training programs, all available online at

CogniFit's patented technology has been designed by an international team of scientists, neurologists, and psychologists who investigate and combine the latest discoveries on the brain with advanced adaptive algorithms and big data analytics. For nearly 20 years, CogniFit has been developing personalized brain fitness programs with leading scientific institutions and published its results in several peer-reviewed publications.

As a major vendor in the cognitive assessment and training market, CogniFit offers its programs to individuals and companies in various verticals, such as healthcare, education, research, health and wellness, driving and human resources. Its brain fitness solutions are available in 19 languages.

Source: CogniFit