New Year Resolutions: 3 Tips from Science

By NS Ramnath
Published: 31, Dec 2012

I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email:

1. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF: Because, announcing your goal gives you a “premature sense of completeness", and you are less likely to work hard towards achieving it, according to a study - When Intentions Go Public - by New York University professor Peter M. Gollwitzer. (Via)

2. KEEP IT SMALL: Because, small things - such as doing 10 push ups as soon as you wake up, or playing guitar for 3 minutes everyday - are more likely to become a habit, says Stanford professor BJ Fogg. Check out his site tinyhabits (Via)

3. KEEP YOUR COOL: Because, a relapse of an old habit doesn't mean it's the end of the world. "It's like learning to ride a bicycle. Almost everybody falls at least once," Alan Marlatt says. If you fail once, pick yourself up, fight the abstinence violation effect and keep going.

And, one more, KEEP A SCORECARD: Because, Hawthorne Effect suggests you'll do better when you are being monitored. (The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics | Wired)

Have a great 2013!

  • New Year Resolutions: 3 Tips from Science |

    [...] Have a great 2013! Original article here. [...]

    on Dec 20, 2013
  • The Science of Keeping New Year’s Resolutions | Smart News

    [...] 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—for example, how far your run at each session on the treadmill, or how much time you put into studying a new language—since this will keep you tuned in on whether or not you’re slipping on your efforts. It’ll also create a nice sense of satisfaction if you manage to keep on top of your resolution. [...]

    on Jan 10, 2013
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