How do you normally go at keeping your resolutions? If you answered "not so flash" then perhaps you could try something different this year. Or at least, try your own little experiment on ONE of your resolutions.
You see, New Years Eve often brings with it the intoxicating desire to coming up with life-changing resolutions (or sometimes less dramatic changes such as flossing daily). Why not right? By setting meaningful, clearly defined goals that you can measure you open yourself up to a sense of accomplishment. This not only brings forward movement but also boosts your self-confidence as you recognise your own competence and abilities to achieve things.
In order to reach our goals, we are typically told that sharing them with our friends can help us to achieve them. Lots of research supports this strategy. BUT like many things, there is also research that supports an alternative approach.
Think of a NYE resolution. Immerse your mind in the imagery of it happening, of telling someone tonight that you are going to achieve it. Imagine their congratulations and high fives. Doesn't it feel good to say it out loud?
Bad news: you should have kept it to yourself! That good feeling NOW will make you less likely to do it LATER.
Since 1933 researchers have found that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to actually do them.
Announcing your plans to others and getting their premature praise and acknowledgment seems to bring just enough satisfaction so you're actually less motivated to do the hard work needed.
Look at it this way - any time you have a goal there are some steps that need to be taken to achieve it. It is usually after you've put in the hard yards and followed those steps that you'd get that rich feeling of satisfaction. But instead when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, the mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it's already done.
Try out your own experiment - resist the temptation to announce your NYE resolution (or one of them) so your mind doesn't mistake the talking for the doing. Make them a res-SHHHH-olution.
Who knows, you might find this delays the gratification that the social acknowledgment brings and makes you more likely to achieve it in 2016.
P.S. Happy New Year!
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