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What is it about the New Year and our desire to change our bad habits?
Well, as always, science has the answer (and the excuse). Even statistics say that a little more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Only a tiny 8 percent of those meet their goals. So, New Year’s resolutions don’t last.
But common sense also tells us that there is good in every fresh start. There is a new beginning in every turn of the page. January’s end shouldn’t make us mourn our broken wings and a return to the humdrum.
Let’s not be quitters just yet. Let’s attack a fresh set of challenges with another look at good habits and a strategy to achieve them. Instead of the commonplace goals of weight loss and more savings, let’s head towards healthy habits and healthier mind.
Every week we highlight some of the best paid courses on Udemy. Today, we reach for the roots of habits and how we can cultivate a stimulating mind across 365 days.
Discover: How to substitute willpower with automatic habits.
This is a short course. You might think that the thirty-one minutes of instruction might not be worth the price of a movie ticket. But a bad habit costs more across an entire life. The course helps you understand this by looking at three key elements of habit change failures.
For instance, your habits are not specific enough. You rely too much on willpower while going at it alone. Diagnose these mistakes and plug them right at the beginning.
Silviu Marisca speaks with an accent but it is crystal clear. He helps you look at your work habits, health habits, and the ones that will make you tackle boring chores. Digest them with simple strategies and practical exercises.
Discover: How to find your purpose.
In his landmark book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl said:
Those who have a “why” to live, can bear with almost any “how”.
We are not Holocaust survivors, but the next three hours could help you go to the heart of it all. Where do I start with personal development? The answer could be in the purpose and not the plan. This Udemy course is about your passions, goals, value, and personal missions.
Right at the beginning, you will find that it’s far better to design your life rather than wait for it to shape you. Some of the best tips are on re-framing life situations that allows you to make happiness a habit and not an accident.
It’s best if the search for a meaningful life starts early. So, recommend the course if you find the value in it. It could help someone shine a light at the fog of their goals. With that done, let’s attack our mind with three courses based on hard science.
Discover: Personal transformation by making your brain adapt to change.
The brain changes when we learn new things. It is not static but can re-organize itself when exposed to different experiences. Neural plasticity is not a new age idea as scientific studies go back two centuries and more. But image scanning technology and our renewed focus on personal transformation has made it almost a buzzword. Big Think has two fascinating examples of neuroplasticity at work.
So you can re-wire your brain. This deep awareness can not only help you recover from bad experiences but also master new skills like learning a new language or playing the piano.
You won’t spend the next 1.5 hours struggling with scientific mumbo-jumbo. Gregory Caremans is a psychologist who breaks it down for you and teaches you the practical secrets of starting new habits with neuroscience. Choose a habit you wish to change and go to work.
Discover: How to unlock your own potential by understanding what makes your brain tick.
We are now diving deeper into human behavior. The course unravels relationships, motivations, habits, and stress with a multi-pronged approach that combines neurosciences, social psychology, and behavioral science.
Here’s an example for starters: the second chapter gives you the tools to recognize your primitive and instinctive nature (the reptilian brain) and how it triggers stress. This peek into human nature will also help you understand the flight or fight response in others and help manage your relationships.
This is the second course on the list by Gregory Caremans. So, this could be a good follow-up to the last course as you try to get an idea how your brain runs your life. The lessons will give you multiple strategies to deal with life’s events in a more positive way.
Discover: Motivating life lessons from the world’s smartest people.
We have Udemy, but just how did the famous achievers of yesteryears do it? They had their own ideas and forged it with failures and experiments. And of course, good habits. Their success is a testament to the power of habits applied with rigorous discipline.
You have a ready-made blueprint for success in these 27 life lessons. Adopt anyone as your “mentor” and turn into a copycat.
Centuries of wisdom is distilled in 2 hours. Stoic philosophers like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius are here. Then, more contemporary heroes like Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer also sourced for lessons on life goals and happiness. You now know what to do next.
The Key Is to Commit to Your Goals
You can spend a few hours and fewer dollars today to learn all about habit change. But all the good intentions in the world won’t take you anywhere till you decide to do the most difficult thing of all: act.
A new year is a chance to undo the mistakes of the last and start with a new page. January 1 is just a date. Start on habit change anytime. But keep this one master resolution in your mind for all your life goals. Powerful habits make the road towards your goals a lot easier.
Try any one of these five courses. Tell us if they passed muster for you. Remember, every paid course on Udemy comes with:
- Lifetime access.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Certificate of completion.
Did you achieve any resolution last year? What is the one offbeat resolution planned for next year? Make a public commitment in the comments.