Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February 1st? This year, they don’t have to be yours.
Here’s what we tend to get wrong when it comes to New Year’s resolutions: we set our sights on a big, ambitious goal but don’t make a plan for exactly how we’ll get there. We fail to consider how we’ll navigate barriers down the road, and so when they inevitably pop up, we struggle. We take on too much too fast, and burn ourselves out.
That’s not to say all New Year’s resolutions are an exercise in futility. In fact, research by Wharton Professor and Humu advisor Dr. Katy Milkman shows that “fresh starts”—specific events like a birthday, a Monday, or the start of a new year—make us more effective at setting and following-through on goals. In other words, when you feel like you’re starting with a clean slate, it’s easier to get excited about heading in a new direction.
The key to making resolutions that stick—even during challenging or uncertain times—is to set bite-sized goals that you’re confident you can achieve. No one goes from sitting on the couch to running a marathon overnight. You start by jogging around the block every day for a week (and if you happen to miss a day, you give yourself grace). Over time, you start running a mile a day. And then two. And then three. And so on and so on.
Researchers also find that we’re most motivated when we’re able to cross something, no matter how small, off our list every single day. These step-by-step wins give us the boost we need to keep going—and to eventually make it across our most ambitious finish line.
That’s why we’re offering a package of 10 free New Years nudges to anyone who wants them. With a focus on well-being and growth, our nudges will help you take seemingly small steps that sum to profound improvement.
Each nudge contains a short, science-backed suggestion to help you combat stress, learn new skills, and build connections with your colleagues. Here are a few examples of the kind of tips you can expect to get in your inbox every few days:
Say thanks: Take a minute right now to send a note of gratitude to a coworker who’s been giving you some extra support, or who’s been dealing with a lot in their personal and professional life but is still showing up for the team. Make sure to tell them exactly what you’re grateful for, and the impact that their support has had on you in this difficult time. Even the simplest thank you can increase resilience and decrease stress.
Keep a smile file: Create a folder on your phone or computer—this is your ‘smile file.’ Use it to save any positive feedback or notes from coworkers that make you feel great. The next time you need a mood boost, spend a few minutes reading through all of that goodness.
Focus on what you can control: When you’re feeling stressed, ask yourself “Is there anything that I can do to change something about this situation?” Most of the time, there’s at least one small change you can make to improve the situation. News stressing you out, for example? Try reducing your intake, or only checking your feeds twice a day. You can’t change the headlines, but you can change your habits. And if there’s nothing you can fix, take a deep breath and try to let it go.