Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A few tips on making commitments, and keeping them

I don't do New Year's resolutions but I've found that this time of the year is useful in looking back at priorities and reassessing. Two recent articles bring up similar ideas on how to make sure you keep your New Year's resolutions, if you do them or any resolutions for that matter. First a look at why we fail from John Tierney (NYT):

They’ll fail because they’ll eventually run out of willpower, which social scientists no longer regard as simply a metaphor. They’ve recently reported that willpower is a real form of mental energy, powered by glucose in the bloodstream, which is used up as you exert self-control.
One solution? Use your willpower less often:
The study, led by Wilhelm Hofmann of the University of Chicago, showed that the people with the best self-control, paradoxically, are the ones who use their willpower less often. Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense, not defense, using their willpower in advance so that they avoid crises, conserve their energy and outsource as much self-control as they can.
More at Wired.

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