The science of keeping New Year’s resolutions
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Want to bolster your chances of actually staying true to your New Year's resolution, whatever it may be? Then consider heeding these tips:
According to Quest, we should ingrain "tiny habits" for ourselves rather than try 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 from practicing an instrument for 30 seconds per day to flossing just one tooth to doing a single pushup when you first get out of bed.
These may sound like ridiculously small achievements. But the Stanford expert says broad goals of "eating healthy" or "getting in shape" are much more elusive. That's because they're more abstractions than achievable feats. Instead, desired behaviors that are incorporated as day-to-day habits are much more effective since you'll carry them out without thinking about it. Examples of these daily habits might include brushing your teeth or washing your hands before eating a meal.
Once someone forms the foundation for a new habit-like flossing one tooth per day-soon that habit turns into a full-blown daily flossing ritual. And not just of one tooth but all teeth. At least this was the result the professor achieved when 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. Keeping a scorecard could also help you track your progress since this will keep you tuned in on whether or not you're slipping on your efforts. For example, how far your run at each session on the treadmill, or how much time you put into studying a new language. Keeping the scorecard will also create a nice sense of satisfaction if you manage to keep on top of your resolution.
Forbes talked to a New York University professor who said you should keep your resolution to yourself. Announcing your goal implies a sense of completion, meaning you're less likely to follow through. Lifehacker, however, counters this suggestion. They advise that you tell a couple friends or family members. Having social support helps people achieve difficult goals, they write. You could even ask friends to hold you accountable for following through with your resolution. In the New Year's spirit, this also means you should throw a party with your supportive friends when that goal is eventually realized.