Did You Know? A study by the American Psychological Association has found that constantly monitoring our progress increases our chances of accomplishing our New Year's resolutions, especially if we talk about our goal and progress publicly. According to Montreal psychologists, these are all methods of using social pressure as a tool to accomplish our goals.
Monitoring Our Progress
The study found that monitoring changes in our behavior is not effective. Instead, our focus should be on how far off we are from the ultimate goal, and how much closer we get as we progress. The explanation for this is that as we progress, we can achieve a greater portion of our goal for the same amount of effort.
Let's consider this example:
Frank wants to lose 10 pounds at 1 pound per week. In his first week, he loses 1 pound out of 10 remaining pounds; he is now 10% closer to his goal, compared to the prior week. On the 8th week, he loses 1 pound out of 3 remaining pounds, or 33%. On the 9th week, he loses 1 pound out of 2 remaining pounds, or 50%. On his final week, he loses 1 out of 1 pound, or 100%.
In this example, Frank always lost 1 pound per week, but each additional lost pound was a bigger portion of the remaining pounds to lose. Would it make sense for Frank to give up half way?
We all have an innate need for being regarded positively by our peers. One characteristic that scores us social points, is having a reputation for being reliable. If we publicly declare our goals, and we give up, it sends a strong message that our words should not be taken seriously. Why would anyone take us seriously, if we don't?
This is why publicly declaring our goals and progress, will make us more likely to accomplish our goals. An easy way to do this is through social media.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not to be misinterpreted as medical, clinical, or any other professional advice. The views expressed are opinions and / or ideas founded on research and clinical experience. These views are meant to provoke awareness and inquiry into various issues, and thus, create an open-minded dialogue, civil discussion, and respectful debate among our readers. Any claims made are subject to change should new studies be conducted that disprove these claims.
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