new year’s resolutions

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    The Problem with “Smart” New Years’ Goals

    Researchers found that people who set both superordinate and subordinate goals at New Year’s invested more effort into pursuing them.Photograph by marekuliasz / Shutterstock There’s a name for the sudden spur of motivation we often feel at New Year’s—the fresh start effect. You might also feel it on your birthday, at the start of the […]

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    New Year’s Resolutions and the Science of Willpower

    The “marshmallow experiment” has become a famous way to measure the self-control of children. (This is a version of the test made for entertainment, not research, purposes.) Every year since 1988, my friend Lou and I have picked a New Year’s resolution together. We meticulously keep to each promise for exactly one year. The 2014 […]