Get Your New Year’s Resolutions Off to a Good Start

Here are a couple of tips to help with any New Year’s resolution.

  1. Don’t tell anyone what it is. (That’s different, right?) It seems that completing a goal sends a shot of dopamine to pleasure receptors in the brain. Telling someone your goal also sends some dopamine to the same place. It’s not as much, but tell a lot of people and your dopamine receptors might think you have accomplished your goal.
  2. Break the resolution into smaller sub-goals. Completing each sub-goal will also give you a shot of dopamine, which will help motivate you.
  3. Anxiety about the goal can also discourage completion. Put it in perspective. Your world will not end if you fail to lose ten pounds, or fail to finish your estate plan by February 1.

Credit Professor Peter M. Vishton of William and Mary for these ideas.