How To Stick To Your Goals, According To Science

Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
It's officially the season for making and (unfortunately) breaking resolutions. Whether you're taking part in the annual ritual or just want to get out of your routine, take a look at the science-backed guidance for reaching your goals in this new infographic from happiness-app-makers Happify.
As the infographic explains, it all starts with the goals we make — and how difficult they seem. We tend to exaggerate the effort we need to put into achievements, so sticking to our resolutions is probably not as hard as we like to think it is.
That said, it's not exactly easy to change long-standing habits. To do so, research suggests we need to have a few key elements, including the help of those around us. This could take many forms, from friends and family to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quitline (for those trying to give up smoking).
In some cases, picking an achievable, specific goal can make all the difference as to whether we achieve it. For instance, rather than making a weight-based resolution, aim to cook at home more often. One study suggested that, regardless of whether or not we explicitly want to lose weight, just making dinner twice a week can inspire us to eat healthier everywhere.
To get more tips on achieving your goals all year round, check out the full infographic below.

More from Mind

R29 Original Series