The Science of Why It’s OK to Fail at Your New Year’s Resolution

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New Year’s resolutions may be losing popularity. Only about a third of Americans made New Year’s resolutions for 2014, down 10% from just two years ago, according to a CBS News poll.

Maybe people have wised up to the fact that most resolutions don’t succeed or think there’s a better way to embark on habit changes and goals than this annual tradition.

That doesn’t mean New Year’s resolutions are completely useless. Let’s take a step back and look at the science of why New Year’s resolutions still make sense, how to make them stick, and why it’s okay if you fail.

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The Best 20 iDoneThis Blog Posts of 2013

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‘Tis the season of end-of-the-year lists!

We dug into the iDoneThis blog archives to bring you a collection of our most popular and favorite pieces from 2013 to enjoy amidst the hustle of holiday festivities and some much deserved, hot cocoa-fueled relaxation.

There are also handy save-to-read-later options to jumpstart your reading in 2014.

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Self Knowledge leads to Self Improvement

Just the act of jotting something down is an act of discipline that affects how we think about our actions, and bolsters our resolve to modify our own behavior.

Andrew Leonard, on the quantified self movement in “Can your iPhone Help You Lose Weight?”

Self-knowledge can lead to self-improvement. Check your life’s blind spots in order to work and live better.

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do it!

Dreaming is at the heart of disruption — it is only when we dream that we can hope to create something truly new, something that will overtake old habits, old customs, and old ways of thinking and being… And the more we dream ourselves into becoming who we want to be, the closer we’ll come to accomplishing our resolutions.

Whitney Johnson, in a great HBR blog post about paying attention to our dreams and who we are.

Life is a precious gift. Don't waste it being unhappy, dissatisfied, or anything else you can be

Making Your To-Do List Work

The Wall Street Journal‘s At Work blog put together a great collection of 10 career and work resolutions for the new year. We can definitely get on board with: Redo Your To-Do List.

Heidi Grant Halvorson explains a particular strategy called if-then planning:

The trick is to not only decide what you need to do, but to also decide when andwhere you will do it, in advance.  The general format of an if-then plan looks like this:

If (or When) ___________ occurs, then I will ________________.

For example:

When it’s 3 p.m. today, then I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and work on that project.

If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I’ll go to the gym before work.

If it’s Tuesday morning, then I will check in with all my direct reports.

This technique is also called implementation intention, a planning strategy that helps automate a desired action with cues and context.

Read the science behind making to-do lists for more details and strategies like implementation intention to help you become a to-do list master!

The Science of Resolutions

While 75% of us keep our new year’s resolutions for two weeks, the chances are slim that we’ll make it further. Here are some tips drawn from two awesome posts by Eric Barker and Buffer’s Leo Widrich on the science of resolutions and how to make them stick.

1.   Break down the goal into baby steps. 

2.   Write it down, and keep track of your progress.  This keeps you accountable and motivates you to keep going.

3.   Dust yourself off and try again.  You can’t learn how to ride a bike without a couple falls. Don’t give up when you slip up!

(Source:  https://www.youtube.com/)

Amazing Productivity Apps: The Best of the Internet

Here’s a sweet short film, Honk if You Love Someone, that will make you smile. (via Dan Pink, whose book, To Sell is Human, just cameout.) And now, catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week!

We’re among some pretty cool company in this amex open forum roundup of 10 amazing productivity apps.

Did you make any resolutions this year? Here’s why 88% of them fail and how to make them work.

Put just one word into action to refocus your company and motivate your employees.

Don’t wait! Delegate!

If you liked the film and want to make your own signs, try out some guerilla art using post-it notes! Bonus: not having to stand outside!

iDoneThis on Lifehacker!

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We’re in Lifehacker today!

iDoneThis is a new webapp that takes your goals and habits you want to build, reminds you to work towards them daily or weekly (you can choose), and puts you on a virtual team of people with similar goals so you can work together, support each other, and know you’re not alone.