Purpose is what’s up, people: Just last month we told you about a study that found a significant correlation between having a sense of purpose in your life and getting a good night’s sleep. And now, a new study points to another benefit of having a sense of purpose in your life: It helps you age better. We will take it!
Most of us have some sort of goals we’re trying to reach listed on a to-do list that’s pasted to our refrigerators as a constant reminder that you. Must. Complete. This. Goal. My current goals range in difficulty but are equally important to me: finally watch West Wing in its entirety; plan a wedding. (Okay, maybe not quite equally important — but close.)
And I am well aware that right now many of you spectacular humans out there are knee-deep in training for the Broad Street Run. Now, training to tackle a 10-mile run is no easy feat. And chances are, because you’re human, you might’ve thought about throwing in the towel already (who wants to wake up at 5 a.m. for a training run? No one.) — just like I’ve thought about throwing in the towel on my White House 101 Netflix lesson during a particularly snooze-worthy episode. But we’re here with some advice: As Science of Us reports, new research published in Journal of Consumer Psychology hints at what is (and isn’t) most effective when it comes to motivating us to stay the course and complete a goal. Hint: It’s all about being reminded of what you have to lose if you give up.
• I think it’s safe to say that now, at the beginning of March, a good chunk of us have traded our New Year’s resolutions of weight loss or money-saving or whatever in for, well, happy hours complete with nachos. If your hand is raised, take note of the goal-setting strategy called design thinking: It forces you to dig deeper to identify the root reason for why you’re setting a goal, whether that’s weight-loss related or not, so that you actually — really! — stick with it. [Shape]
I rant about needing to save more money a lot. Like, so often that the minute my friends hear the sound “muh“ start to come out of my mouth, I can see their eyes roll into the backs of their skulls as they devise an escape plan. I don’t blame them: Anything is better than talking about someone else’s budget. Especially when said person is talking about their diminishing bank account while clutching a $7 bottle of kombucha in one hand and picking at pieces of outrageously expensive granola with the other.
And this is pretty much what I am doing at all times. Shameless, I know.
See, my (and my bank account’s) problem is that I can’t not buy the $7 kombucha if I pass it in Whole Foods. “Treat yo’self,” I tell myself … every single week. Do you know what $7 times four is? I mean, of course you do, but I’ll tell you anyway: That’s nearly $30 a month spent on KOMBUCHA. And that’s if I only buy one per week which never actually happens.
So, how do I reach my goal of actually putting more money into savings? Well, as Science of Us reports, a new study to be published in Social Psychological and Personality Study suggests that I should just avoid Whole Foods — and anywhere else that slings overpriced kombucha and the other artisanal health food products that eat away at my funds — altogether. (Insert all the bawling emojis here.)
If you’re anything like me, in the past 24 hours you’ve made declarative statements like, “I’m never eating white flour again!” or “Today will be the day I stop watching so many Law & Order: SVU marathons!” Then you’ve promptly broken said vows with a bowl of cheese-stuffed ravioli in one hand and a remote control in the other—rinse, repeat.
The phrase “talk is cheap” comes to mind here, but next time I set my lofty goals, I might just be able to keep my word, thanks to this nifty trick: The folks over on Science of Us have clued us in to a four-step technique that research has shown helps people to actually achieve what they set out to do. Like, for instance, it helped people who wanted to eat more fruits and vegetables actually eat more fruits and vegetables—instead of, you know, just saying, “I’m going to eat more vegetables!” and eating pasta instead. Impressive.
Believe it or not, we’re less than a month out from the new year. Am I the only one who feels like 2013 went by like THAT?! Seriously, time seems to fly faster and faster the older I get.
It’s always about this time of year, with visions of holiday trees and lights and gifts playing in my head, that I start to think about what I hope to accomplish in the coming year. I’ve always hated the word “resolution” so I prefer to think of it as an exercise in goal setting. Problem is, most of them don’t usually, er, stick.