“Brilliant. Personal. And best of all, actionable. A highlight reel of what scientists know about how to change behavior for good.”—Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit
“Some moments are much more motivating than others for starting something new. And of course, the most famous of those is New Year’s,” says Katy Milkman, Wharton professor and bestselling author of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. “Fresh start moments give us optimism about what we’re capable of.”
Katy was recently named to this year’s Thinkers50 (widely known as the Oscars of Management Thinking), and was one of three experts interviewed for Jay Shetty’s “Navigating Change” Masterclass. She reveals 5 practical tips that you can use this New Year’s in order to achieve your goals for 2024:
- Add cues like when and where to your plan. Instead of saying “I’ll meditate on weekdays,” try “I’ll meditate at the office on weekdays during my lunch break.” These cues help jog your memory at the right moment.
- Try a penalty clause. Putting some money on the line—and forfeiting it when you fail—can motivate you to follow through on your goals. You can make a bet with a friend, or try a website like StickK which gives your money to a charity if you fail.
- Make it fun. Instead of striving to complete your goal as efficiently as possible, try directing your efforts so that you actually enjoy the process. Katy suggests “temptation bundling”: combining a chore with a guilty pleasure.
- Allow for emergencies. Giving yourself one or two “get-out-of-jail-free” cards to use each week can keep you pushing forward after a misstep. If you happen to slip up once, you can use your emergency card rather than throw in the towel.
- Get help from your friends. Spending time with high achievers—who can show you how they reached their own goals—can boost your own performance. But coaching friends towards shared goals can improve your success too.
Watch Katy explain why every change you want to make requires its own unique game plan: