Change One Small Habit, Change Your Life

Recent brain science shows how to resist temptation, get motivated and blow up your routine for the better

by Brian Alexander
Photograph: Dan Saelinger

Durrani may reap keystone effects from her Sunday cooking marathons that she can’t even appreciate now, because they’ll accumulate over decades. Studies have shown that by the time children are teenagers, those who eat traditional, sit-down family meals with parents are less likely to have used marijuana or alcohol than teens who rarely eat such meals. The dinner-eating kids are also more likely to say they have good relationships with their parents and less likely to experience depression.

As for me, I’m a work in progress. I’m meeting my primary goal of getting more work done, but it’s too early to talk about life-changing keystone effects. There had damn well better be some good ones, though, because without a big payoff, I just might tell my PFC to pipe down and let me go back to bed.

Brian Alexander’s latest book is The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction.

Next: The Richness of Empty Evenings

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First published in the June 2013 issue

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