Listen: How to follow through on your New Year’s resolutions

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A new book explores the science of setting goals, achieving success, and learning from failure.

Every year many of us set New Year’s resolutions, and almost none of us actually follow through on them. In a year when fulfilling our goals and resolutions feels more pressing than ever while our motivation may be at its lowest, research has some concrete answers on how to follow through.

Ayelet Fishbach is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the author of a new book, Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from The Science of Motivation (Hachette, 2022). She is one of the leading experts on the research behind what keeps us motivated to complete our goals.

“When we ask people, we find that only about a quarter tells us that they’re still pursuing the resolutions on the following November,” Fishbach says. “Part of the reason that many goals do fail, and fail more than what we might think is healthy, is because we don’t have a good system of following through.

Motivation science is part of the behavioral science, and specifically it’s a field that is interested in how to get people to achieve their goals, what gets us out of bed in the morning and doing whatever it is that’s important for us to do,” she says. “And I can’t think of anything that is more important to study.”

On this episode of the Big Brains podcast, Fishbach explains why sticking with our New Year’s resolutions is so tough and what helps people follow through:

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You can find the transcript for this episode here.

Source: University of Chicago