Every year, the majority of us — stemming from the most noble of intentions, or the most nauseating of eggnog overindulgence — declare our desire to start anew and totally revise our lives. For most of us, though, Groundhog Day brings not just an excuse to settle in with a Bill Murray movie, but the milestone of having let ourselves down once more. And yet by the time the ball drops anew in Times Square ten months later, we’re happily preparing to drop our own ball all over again.
What would it take to make our resolutions stick? Psychological research on goal-setting and achievement has a lot to teach us: they need be the right balance of realistic and challenging, and we need to have clear, specific pathways to reach them. We also are better off focusing on only one or two resolutions rather than attempting the equivalent of a floor-to-ceiling structural renovation of our inner selves. Sound too complicated? Here’s how to give the most common resolutions a psychological makeover, after the jump… Keep reading »