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It's time to ring in the new year, so lots of people are ready to make their new year's resolutions. With the help of psychology, you too can be on your way to fulfilling your goals this year!

Hosted by: Hank Green
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Hank: Time for a pop quiz, how many of these statements are true of you? 1: You bought a shiny new planner or notebook recently. 2: You’ve been researching gym memberships. 3: You suddenly have a very long list of personal goals. 4: You are considering getting into bullet journaling.   If you checked at least one of these boxes you might have a New Year’s resolution. And if you do, well my friend, you have come to the right place. Here on SciShow Psych we’ve made all kinds of videos that could help you out in the coming weeks. So, kick back, put on your comfy pants, and enjoy some of our favorite phycological life hacks.   First, let’s kick things off with our New Year’s video from last year, which is a good place to start, honestly.

So, here’s Brit with some more about how to set helpful goals.  

Brit: Odds are you’ve made New Year’s resolutions before, and they probably sounded great at the time. Hooray, I’m gonna be a better me, but how often do you stick to those resolutions, really. Maybe you’re motivated to hit the gym for the first couple weeks of the year, but by February you’ve already forgotten where you put your ID card. As frustrating as that can be psychologists do have some insights into why it’s so hard for us to stick to our resolutions.

And some advice for how to actually accomplish them this time around. The biggest problem seems to be the kinds of resolutions we make. Researchers have been trying to pin down what makes a goal motivating for a long time.

According to the commonly accepted goal-setting theory, specific and challenging goals make us work the hardest and perform well, much better than say being told to “do your best.” The “specific” part makes sense, that way your successes are measurable. Over and over again studies have shown that measurable goals work because they allow you to see how things are coming along so you don’t give up right away or feel like you’ll never accomplish as much as you want to.

So if you wanna lose weight, for example, your best bet would be to decide how much weight and by when, rather than just saying you’d like to be thinner. Or if you want to be more adventurous you could commit to trying one new activity a month.

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