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[LifeStyle] Is there a better way to make new resolutions stick? Published 4 January

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"Run. Work on doctorate." So begin all my to-do lists but progress is elusive. With New Year's resolution season here - perhaps technology can make me into a more productive machine.

"An extraordinary amount of what we do is habit," says Brendan Kelly, professor of psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin.

It is estimated that between 45% and 95% of what we do is habitual, "but I'd reckon towards the higher end of that range," says Prof Kelly.

We act according to our habits, "from the time we rise and go through our morning routines, until we fall asleep after evening routines," says Ann Graybiel, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

We develop those habits by encoding them in a part of our brain called the striatum, which deals with reward and releases the "feel-good" neurotransmitter dopamine, her research shows.

Now a new cohort of apps - with names like SnapHabit, Habitica and Strides - reckon we can reprogram our habits to improve our lives and be happier.

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59696196

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