3 Science-Backed Ways To Stay Motivated

Photographed by Winnie Au.
A version of this article originally appeared on Shape.

'Tis the season to make — and eventually break — your New Year's resolutions. Whether or not you buy into that tradition, wouldn't it be great if there was a way to actually stick to your goals year-round? Luckily, Science has found a few tricks to keep you motivated, Shape reports.

Related: When It's OK To Quit Your New Year's Resolutions

Keep it secret.

Researchers at New York University found that we're actually less likely to accomplish our goals if we share them with others. Specifically, they noted that people feel less motivated if their friends point out small improvements right away, and don't see their goals through to the end. In other words, try keeping your projects to yourself until they're done — then feel free to post a self-congratulatory insta.

Tell yourself you're unstoppable.

This might sound obvious, but motivation is a matter of perspective. In fact, a study from the University of Zurich and Stanford University found that students who viewed willpower as an infinite resource actually performed better than those who viewed it as a finite resource. The former group made fewer impulse purchases, procrastinated less, and earned higher grades than the latter. So, when the going gets tough, just remind yourself you've got more to give — you can do it.

Related: 10 Cute Journals You'll Actually Want To Write In

Have fun.

A study from Frontiers in Psychology found that people who enjoyed their workouts were more likely to exercise than those who didn't. That makes a lot of sense, especially in the context of going to the gym, but try applying it to goals that have nothing to do with fitness, too. Chances are, if you have to force yourself to do something, you probably won't come close to finishing it any time soon. Fun can be a powerful motivator.

Of course, if these tricks don't get the job done, don't feel discouraged — your motivational hack might be as simple as keeping a post-it on your mirror or setting a reminder in your phone. You've got all year to find what works best for you.

Click through to Shape for more on setting goals you can keep and conquer. (Shape)

Related: Why I'm Changing My Approach To New Year's Resolutions After The Election
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