TED Conversations

Melissa Ganus

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What are your New Year's resolutions?

Last year, Sajeesh Ragavan posted this question at http://www.ted.com/profiles/933068

Now, having made it through the 21st of December, 2012, it seems like exactly the right time to post it again!

I've been inspired by Dr Mike Evans short video about how much more successful New Year's resolutions tend to be compared with making resolutions at other times of year. Just posted a TEDed and would welcome your thoughts and feedback: http://ed.ted.com/on/cu5IwKY6

Happy New Year!!!


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    Dec 28 2012: Why do people wait till January 1st to start doing what they resolve to do? Why January 1st or "Monday" is better than "now"?
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      Dec 28 2012: Great question! Mike Evans, in the video up at http://ed.ted.com/on/cu5IwKY6 suggests that, from his review of the research, the new year has a special symbolic meaning for us and is often a period of reflection for lots of people. For me, it also comes after the decadence of the holidays... I'd love it if you checked out the TEDed and could give your feedback. Are you likely to make New Year's resolutions for next year?
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        Dec 30 2012: That's a good video. And that's exactly what I'm looking forward in the new year - better habits. No big achievements - just clean up some clogs and lubricate some wheels. It's not necessarily associated with January 1 date. But, perhaps, the video is right. The holiday week is a good time to reflect.
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          Dec 30 2012: Melissa and Arkady,
          I agree that the end of the year and the beginning of the next year is a good time to reflect. I also believe that the end of the day....beginning of the next day is a good time to reflect....end of the week....beginning of the next week.....or month.......:>)
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          Jan 3 2013: Colleen, I totally agree - each new period is an opportunity to start again, each end a chance to reflect on what we want to differently the next time. I've been seeing trips that take me to a new context for a few days as opportunities (or challenges!) for trying to start (or maintain) a new habit I've been wanting to develop.
    • Dec 28 2012: I tend to share Arkady's sentiment. Although the influence of an objective time interval might help us with our goals, I feel that working on the core of our motivation (whether that means finding out exactly what motivates us or working on the indirect factors that mitigate our motivation) can be exponentially more powerful.

      This reminds me of the "Lean Startup Methodology." My understanding is that with this process, start up companies commit to a path of continuous improvement that includes frequent tweaks to the mission and goals. Several small tech companies swear by it, and I believe that its power comes from developing the core of a team's motivation to constantly improve. Unrelated external situations (such as the turn of the year) are not the catalysts of this drive.

      I'm not suggesting that we avoid deeper reflection if the new year compels us to take some time for it, but rather that maybe we should strive to become more reflective on a more consistent basis.

      With that said...I am still striving quite a bit :). The new year does have an influence on me, but I have not come up with an objective resolution. I'll post it if I do!

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