The science of keeping New Year’s resolutions
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Want to help your chances of actually staying true to your New Year's resolution? Then consider heeding these tips:
Quest said we should ingrain "tiny habits" for ourselves. We should avoid trying to rework our behaviors outright. Reworking our behaviors is a more daunting task. A Stanford professor proposed the "tiny habits" trick. He said these tiny goals can be anything. They might be practicing an instrument for 30 seconds per day or flossing just one tooth. It could also be a single pushup when you first get out of bed.
These may sound like very small goals. But the Stanford expert says broad goals of "eating healthy" or "getting in shape" are much more elusive. That's because they're more ideas than achievable feats.
Desired behaviors that are incorporated as day-to-day habits are much more effective. That's because you'll carry them out without thinking about it. Examples of these daily habits might include brushing your teeth. It could also be washing your hands before eating a meal.
Once someone forms the foundation for a new habit, soon that habit turns into a full-blown ritual. An example of this is starting by flossing one tooth per day. It will soon become a daily flossing ritual. And not just of one tooth but all teeth. At least this was the result the professor achieved. He asked several hundred volunteers to carry out the flossing task for a week.
Forbes India also offers a couple simple tricks for going all the way with your resolution. They said to keep a scorecard. It could help you track your progress. That's because it will keep you tuned in on whether or not you're slipping on your efforts. Examples might include tracking how far your run at each session on the treadmill. It might also include how much time you put into studying a new language. Keeping the scorecard will also create a nice sense of satisfaction. That's if you manage to keep on top of your resolution.
Forbes talked to a New York University professor. He said you should keep your resolution to yourself. Announcing your goal implies a sense of completion. It might mean that you're less likely to follow through.
Lifehacker counters this suggestion. They advise that you tell a couple friends or family members. They said that having social support helps people achieve difficult goals. You could even ask friends to hold you accountable for following through with your resolution. When you achieve your goal, you should throw a party with your supportive friends to celebrate. In the New Year's spirit, of course.