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  • Most New Year's resolutions fail.

  • So in this video I want to talk about the science of why they fail

  • and how to avoid that so your New Year's resolutions actually succeed

  • and I want to tell you about three of my New Year's resolutions for 2020.

  • The first one is to stop going to news websites

  • I find I kill a ton of time by doing that

  • Now don't get me wrong, I do think it's important to know what's going on in the world,

  • but I just don't think following the day-to-day developments of the news cycle is the way to do that

  • so instead I am going to get one newspaper delivered to my house every week

  • and that is how I am gonna stay informed

  • Research has shown it is more effective to make resolutions at new years than at any other time of the year.

  • In fact, one study found that people who made resolutions on January 1st

  • were 10 times as likely to stick with them 6 months later than people who made their resolutions at other times of the year

  • And January 1st 2020 is the first day of a new decade

  • so it may be even better.

  • Side note: those of you who want to argue that the first day of the decade is actually January 1st 2021,

  • while you may technically be correct because there was no year 0,

  • we went straight from 1 BC to 1 AD

  • for all intents and purposes psychologically this January 1st is the first day of the 2020s

  • and that is what matters.

  • So the technicalities I think, are unimportant. Abd this argument should be put to bed

  • The 2020s start on Jan 1

  • But now the bad news: even a resolution made at New Year's will most likely fail

  • which is why gyms are packed in January, but they start to clear out by March

  • what research has found that only around 8% of people can stick with their resolutions through the end of the year

  • So why is this? And, how do we avoid that trap?

  • I think it all starts with a misconception

  • Oh no, oh no, oh no, oooooh no.

  • Foooget. *sigh*

  • Well this was going part of the video where I ran on the treadmill but the treadmill's just broken

  • so I think the misconception is, that people think that in order to make big changes in their lives

  • that they have to make some sort of really big effort

  • I mean let's say your goal was to run a marathon

  • you might plan on running ten kilometers three times a week

  • that seems kind of proportionate to the end goal

  • and you might be excited and really motivated to do it for the first few weeks

  • but at some point that motivation is gonna lag

  • and running 10k is gonna seem too hard

  • and so you're gonna sort of fall back into old habits

  • the misconception is thinking you need to go big,

  • and so being over ambitious with your goals and then not being able to commit and stick to them

  • I'm gonna fix this.

  • The truth is you're much better off if you pick small targets that you can hit consistently

  • that's the idea behind James Clear's book "Atomic Habits"

  • which is this idea that if you can get just 1% better every day at something, it will take a minimum amount of effort

  • but over time the effects will compound just like compound interest

  • and James Clear proposes the two-minute rule:

  • 'pick something that you can do in just two minutes'

  • So if you want to run a marathon, start by say running two minutes a day

  • that is something that you can't say you don't have time for

  • and once that habit sticks, well then you can try to extend it into something more ambitious

  • the next problem with resolutions is they are too often vague

  • the most common resolutions that people make are to

  • lose weight, exercise more, and to eat better.

  • the problem is those things are so nondescript that it's hard to know if you're making progress

  • and it's really easy to regress into your old habits

  • so the science around this says you need to be specific

  • AND, write down your goals

  • people who write down their goals are 40% more likely to achieve them

  • that is pretty significant just by taking that step of putting pen to paper

  • and I'm thinking here in this video you should put your New Year's resolutions in the comments

  • because at least that is taking a step towards committing yourself to a goal for the year

  • My second new year's resolution for 2020 is to write in a daily planner every day of this year

  • In fact I can be more specific than that.

  • Um, I will write one word in this book each day

  • now I know one word might seem unhelpfully ridiculously little to write in this book

  • but I want to commit to this idea of starting small

  • with the idea that if I get in the habit of making the time to at least write down one word on each one of these pages,

  • well then maybe some days I will write more than one word

  • and that will be helpful in terms of planning my day a little bit

  • and so hopefully I will be more productive than I would have been otherwise

  • and then it's really important to track your progress in an obvious and visual way

  • and I'm going to use the everyday calendar by Simone Giertz

  • Oddly satisfying.

  • Where there's a button for every day of the year

  • and you can push it and the light turns on

  • and that is really satisfying

  • so I think this will encourage me to write down a word early in the day so that I can go and turn on the light for that day

  • what's great about this is it's a very visual way to track my progress

  • and to have it in an obvious place where I can look at it all the time

  • and I'll put it in the back of shot for some of my videos in 2020

  • so you guys can see how I'm progressing towards this goal

  • so the third major problem with New Year's resolutions is that people seem to think

  • it's about having more willpower or motivation, being able to resist temptation better

  • but willpower is a finite resource

  • and it can be depleted that there are gonna be some bad days and that is when you're gonna relapse

  • so relying on willpower is not an effective strategy

  • and research has shown that people who have better self-control

  • actually just have to exercise it less

  • the way they're able to do that is by structuring their environments so they don't have to exercise their willpower

  • I find in my kitchen it's always like the treats and snacks which are left out on the counter

  • but the veggies which are like tucked away in the vegetable crisper drawer

  • and I get it because you know that's where the veggies are meant to go to keep them crisp,

  • but the problem is if I don't see them, if they're not in my line of sight, I will just end up eating what's on the counter

  • and not going digging for veggies

  • so we need a way of changing our environments so that we make better choices

  • which brings me to my third and final new year's resolution for 2020:

  • I am deleting social media apps off of my phone

  • I'm getting rid of Instagram and Twitter. You are watching the exact moment that I do that

  • the reason for this is I find I just kill way too much time going into these apps

  • and research shows that any tiny distraction that you have during your day

  • takes you you know something like 20,25 minutes to get back into your work

  • and so I'm losing a lot of time to just procrastinating with these apps

  • so I'm getting rid of them off my phone

  • so I don't have to use my willpower to not click them mindlessly as I normally would

  • and I've actually downloaded an app that will block news sites and block my social media while I'm working

  • because that way I don't have to restrain myself

  • the systems that I put in place will restrain me for me

  • I know a lot of this sounds a little bit CGP Grey

  • but I think he's on to something

  • you don't need to follow the day-to-day movements of the news cycle and you do not need to be scrolling social media all the time

  • particularly when you're trying to get useful work done

  • so that's how I feel

  • I want to optimize my 2020 by locking down all my potential distractions not needing any willpower,

  • and I've got some small, specific, and written down,

  • targeted with tracking plans for 2020

  • so I'd love to know what you're planning for 2020 for your New Year's resolutions

  • What are your plans for the next decade?

  • Hey! this episode of Veritasium is supported by viewers like you on Patreon and by Audible

  • You know what's an excellent habit? Listening to one audiobook every month

  • and as an Audible member, that's easy.

  • Because each month you get one credit good for any audiobook regardless of price from Audible's huge selection

  • Now a couple of the audiobooks I have on my phone are atomic habits by James Clear,

  • and Deep Work by Cal Newport

  • and I was re-listening to these books recently when I was taking my kids out for nap drives

  • and in fact it was on one of these drives that I came up with my new year's resolutions for 2020

  • and hence this episode

  • so to browse their unmatched selection of audio content go to a-u-d-i-b-l-e dot com slash Veritasium

  • or text Veritasium to 500 500

  • Right now audible members get more than ever before

  • in addition to one audiobook you get access to two audible originals,

  • plus exclusive guided fitness and meditation programs

  • and the book that I am listening to next is called Behave -- the biology of humans at our best and worst by Robert M Sapolsky

  • it explains why we make the decisions we do in all sorts of situations

  • from our most altruistic to our most selfish or vengeful

  • and you can join me and start listening with a 30-day trial

  • and your first audio book plus two audible originals free

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  • so I want to thank audible for supporting me and I want to thank you for watching

Most New Year's resolutions fail.

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Why Most Resolutions Fail & How To Succeed

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/28
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