Tips for willpower

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How to Keep Your Resolutions

IT’S that time of year again. Maybe it’s your waistline you’re worried about, or maybe it’s the smoking habit you just can’t seem to kick. To improve your chances of keeping your New Year’s resolutions, we offer four tips inspired by recent research on behavioral economics and health. We focus on health, but our suggestions should help with other goals, too. First, make a concrete plan. When you do so, you both embed your intentions firmly in memory (which reduces forgetting) and make it harder to postpone good behavior, since doing so requires breaking an explicit commitment to yourself. In an experiment reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers (including one of us) contacted thousands of individuals who needed flu shots. ….[READ]

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