Using science to help you keep your new year's resolution

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by wegs, Jan 3, 2023.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2023
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, it seems like just common sense. I don't actually see much "science" in it, if any. It obviously makes sense to make new activities pleasurable in some way to help a new routine become established. My most recent example is making cutting down on alcohol (due to my arrhythmia issue) more pleasurable by adopting a non-alcoholic aperitif I like as a habit. (Tonic water with angostura bitters , ice and a slice of lemon).

    I don't make New Year resolutions, by the way. I sometimes make resolutions at random points in the year, but at New Year I have enough pain doing my tax return.
     
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This seems to be happening more and more lately in journalism - add the word ''science'' into an article title, and it attracts more eyeballs. Maybe that's just my thinking. lol

    That sounds like a great plan, exchemist. I hope it works out for you. By replacing alcohol with something comparable (in taste?), that may very well help you cut back. There is probably a scientific reason why we tend to make lasting changes only when we alter our mindsets, as opposed to just eliminating bad habits (which by itself, can seem more challenging in the moment). For example, I want to stop procrastinating, but that sounds like too vague of an idea, right? So, I need to create some tangible parameters that are not only doable, but somewhat pleasurable, to sustain my new way of thinking. I also think adding something, always sounds/feels better than omitting something from our lives.

    Yea, you're not alone. Most people don't stick with them - this is why gym memberships here in the West soar in the months of January and February, but by March, the ''resolutioners'' drop off. I'm not one for them either, but I would like to start anew this year, creating lasting positive habits around setting goals, and not procrastinating as much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2023
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe it is a [legit] conceptual discrimination of an existing cultural pattern, after all, with no further ambitions. Rather than just another social science discipline inventing an auxiliary authority niche for itself (job creation for a new sub-category of experts offering their "skills" or guidelines).

    https://faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Dai_Fresh_Start_2014_Mgmt_Sci.pdf

    EXCERPTS: The popularity of New Year’s resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. If true, this little-researched phenomenon has the potential to help people overcome important willpower problems that often limit goal attainment. Across three archival field studies, we provide evidence of a “fresh start effect.”

    [...] More broadly, the notion that fresh starts are possible and offer individuals an opportunity to improve themselves has long been endorsed by our culture. For example, Christians can be “born again;” Catholic confessions and penance provide sinners with a fresh start; many religious groups engage in ritual purification or ablution ceremonies (e.g., Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, and Jews); and the metaphorical phoenix rising from the ashes is a ubiquitous symbol of rebirth.

    This suggests a widely shared belief that we have opportunities throughout our lives to start fresh with a clean slate, with the “New Year’s effect” representing just one example of a far broader phenomenon documented in this paper. Specifically, we show that special occasions and calendar events (e.g., a birthday, a holiday, the beginning of a new week/month), which demarcate the passage of time and create numerous “fresh start” opportunities at the beginning of new cycles throughout each year, are associated with subsequent increases in aspirational behavior.
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2023
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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    On the procrastinating one, I try to make sure I do at least one thing, every day, from my never-ending list. The only problem is that things get added to the list at the rate of about 1.25 per day.

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  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's not procrastinating if you make a plan to do it later.
     
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  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Quoted for truth! Such is the life of a procrastinator...

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    Also, quoted for truth.

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  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This is really interesting - I definitely see the correlation between having some down time towards the end of the year, being able to sit with my thoughts without work distracting me, and deeply considering what I'd like to change/reboot/reset.

    Having said that, many of the same resolutions find their ways back on our lists, year after year, ever notice that? We are excited to start the new year off with a bang, know what we want to change - even make attempts towards changing unproductive habits, but we don't spend the time necessary to look a little deeper as to why we have those habits to begin with.

    I guess my "resolution" for this year would be to not have the same resolutions appear on next year's list.

    Channeling Deepak Chopra...
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023

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