As a college student, Katy Milkman played tennis and loved going to the gym. But when she started graduate school, her exercise routine started to flunk.
“At the end of a long day of classes, I was exhausted,” Milkman says. “Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do was drag myself to the gym. What I really wanted to do was watch TV or read Harry Potter.” Check out the latest exipure reviews.
What got her back to regular workouts was something she calls “temptation bundling.” She resolved to indulge in her love of wizard-lit only while at the gym, by listening to audiobooks with earbuds.
Milkman, now a professor at the Wharton School of Business who specializes in human decision-making, says that when it comes to making a behavioral change, the trick is to pair the thing you dread with something you love.
Looking for more tips like these to make your New Year’s resolution stick? Whatever your goals, we have insights that can make it a little easier for you to achieve them. Here are six “life recipes” for good mental health from research that NPR reporters covered this year:
Feeling stressed? Just eight techniques — a “buffet of life skills” — can make a significant improvement in well-being, say scientists who taught the techniques to caregivers of people with dementia. After learning techniques such as how to keep a gratitude journal, for example, and how to quickly reframe negative experiences in a positive light — these family caregivers reported impressive decreases in both stress and anxiety.
Prepare to fail. It’s part of succeeding
If you’re trying to get a new routine to stick — whether it’s getting more exercise, eating less sugar or learning to play the ukulele — scholars who study human behavior say the key is to accept failure as a part of the process. Expect that at some point you will mess up. And when that happens, don’t give in to the “what-the-heck” effect — the feeling that since you’ve missed one session, your whole plan is a bust. Just get back to taking steps toward your goal, and don’t beat yourself up.
Help an anxious partner the right way
You can support a partner who has an anxiety disorder without sinking yourself, say therapists: First, don’t try to fix things immediately. Instead, acknowledge your loved one’s perspective. “You can move to logic, but not before the person feels like they’re not being judged and … misunderstood,” says licensed psychologist Carolyn Daitch. Learning how to gently maintain boundaries is important, too.