Show Me Then I’ll Believe

I’m in the process of re-writing my autobiography.  I initially wrote it back in the early nineties.  Until now it never seemed like the right time to publish it, but now I believe the time has arri...

Dr. Robert Owens - avatar Dr. Robert Owens

Five aspects of Pentecostalism that shed light on Scott Morrison's politics

Prime Minister Scott Morrison sings during a service at the Horizon Church in Sydney in April.Mick Tsikas/AAPPrime Minister Scott Morrison began his victory speech on Saturday with the words, “I...

Philip Almond, Emeritus Professor in the History of Religious Thought, The University of Queensland - avatar Philip Almond, Emeritus Professor in the History of Religious Thought, The University of Queensland

Why the 2019 election was more like 2004 than 1993 – and Labor has some reason to hope

I recently had cause to look at a large file of material I collected about Mark Latham during 2004. It is full of many of the same columnists who have just campaigned successfully for the return of th...

Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University - avatar Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University

Eastern China pinpointed as source of rogue ozone-depleting emissions

Sunset at Australia's Cape Grim observatory, one of the key global background monitoring sites for CFC-11. Paul Krummel/CSIRO, Author providedA mysterious rebound in the emissions of ozone-depleting c...

Paul Krummel, Research Group Leader, CSIRO - avatar Paul Krummel, Research Group Leader, CSIRO

Where to now for unions and 'change the rules'?

Very few people saw the Coalition’s win coming. If it was, as opposition leader Bill Shorten contended, “a referendum on wages” then it follows that Australians were content with slu...

Anthony Forsyth, Professor of Workplace Law, RMIT University - avatar Anthony Forsyth, Professor of Workplace Law, RMIT University

How we solved the mystery of Libyan desert glass

Shutterstock LinnasIn the remote desert of western Egypt, near the Libyan border, lie clues to an ancient cosmic cataclysm. Libyan desert glass is the name given to fragments of canary-yellow glass fo...

Aaron J. Cavosie, Senior research fellow, Curtin University - avatar Aaron J. Cavosie, Senior research fellow, Curtin University

Aboriginal Australians want care after brain injury. But it must consider their cultural needs

Australia's first Aboriginal Brain Injury Coordinator, Rebecca Clinch, with brain injury survivor Justin Kickett.Edith Cowan University, Author providedThis article is the fourth part in a series, Whe...

Beth Armstrong, Foundation Chair in Speech Pathology, Edith Cowan University - avatar Beth Armstrong, Foundation Chair in Speech Pathology, Edith Cowan University

Rethinking tourism so the locals actually benefit from hosting visitors

Tourism today has a problem and needs an entire rethink. Pundits are debating overtourism, peak tourism and tourismphobia. Cities such as Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are witnessing a backlash agai...

Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, University of South Australia - avatar Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, University of South Australia

Wind in Albanese's sails as Chalmers weighs options

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has pulled out of Labor’s leadership race, increasing the pressure for an uncontested run for Anthony Albanese, which would prevent an extended limbo period for the ...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

With the LNP returned to power, is there anything left in Adani's way?

After months of “start” and “stop” Adani campaigning, the coalmine is poised to go ahead following the surprise success of the Coalition government at the federal election. So ...

Samantha Hepburn, Director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law, Deakin Law School, Deakin University - avatar Samantha Hepburn, Director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law, Deakin Law School, Deakin University

New data shows sex offenders in Victoria are going to prison for longer

There is a common perception in Victoria that courts are too lenient on offenders, but sentences for sex offences are actually increasing.ShutterstockSentences for most sex offences are getting harshe...

Paul McGorrery, PhD Candidate in Criminal Law, Deakin University - avatar Paul McGorrery, PhD Candidate in Criminal Law, Deakin University

Queensland to all those #Quexiteers: don't judge, try to understand us

Progressive voices have lit up social media with memes blaming Queensland for Labor's loss in the federal election. But characterising the state as regressive and redneck is misplaced. ...

Anne Tiernan, Professor of Politics. Dean (Engagement) Griffith Business School, Griffith University - avatar Anne Tiernan, Professor of Politics. Dean (Engagement) Griffith Business School, Griffith University

In a notoriously sexist art form, Australian women composers are making their voices heard

Performers in Speechless, a new opera by composer Cat Hope, co-commissioned by the Perth Festival and Tura New Music. The opera is a response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 rep...

Karen Cummings, Lecturer in Singing, University of Wollongong - avatar Karen Cummings, Lecturer in Singing, University of Wollongong

Sex trafficking's tragic paradox: when victims become perpetrators

The victim-offender overlap is disturbingly common in the human trafficking trade, with women once trafficked becoming traffickers.www.shutterstock.comBorn in rural Thailand, Watcharaporn Nantahkhum ...

Alexandra Baxter, Researcher/PhD Candidate, criminology and human trafficking, Flinders University - avatar Alexandra Baxter, Researcher/PhD Candidate, criminology and human trafficking, Flinders University

Every year most of us make New Year’s resolutions. Eat healthier. Exercise regularly. Invest more in valued relationships. Learn a language. And so on. Often they are the same resolutions as last year.

Why do our resolutions often so swiftly wither away?

A prime culprit in this annual rollercoaster of optimism and disappointment is overconfidence in the power of our intentions.

Read more: A behaviourist's guide to New Year's resolutions

The excitement of a new year (and perhaps the fruit of celebrating a little too hard) cloud remembering a hard fact of life: good intentions readily evaporate without a trace in the face of everyday experiences such as exhaustion, temptation and long-standing habits.

Fortunately, academic research on goal-setting can help. Studies over several decades have identified some effective ways to overcome these common obstacles to realising your plans.

Beyond SMART goals

It’s well-known (and also true) that New Year’s resolutions are more likely to be attained if they are “SMART”:

  • Specific (about exactly what you want to achieve)
  • Measurable (with clear indicators of progress)
  • Achievable (given your available resources, constraints and other priorities)
  • Relevant (to what you most value)
  • Time-bound (with the specific date by when you aim for mission accomplished).

Crafting SMART goals is a good start. But the odds of realising your resolutions will be improved by building what I call “goal infrastructure” – that is, resources that enable goal attainment.

Below are three powerful ways to build goal infrastructure.

1. Link your goals to your cherished values

Useful insights about how to do this may be drawn from a study of how a goal-setting program could help struggling students improve their academic performance.

The research involved 85 students at McGill University in Montreal. Participants given the goal-setting intervention answered questions about their ideal future, qualities they admired in others, things they would like to do better, things they would like to learn more about, and habits they would like to develop.

They then developed and prioritised the goals they were excited to pursue, before writing about the specific positive impacts they thought achieving each goal would have on their lives and the lives of those they cared about.

Compared to students in the control group, those who participated in this goal-setting intervention significantly improved their academic results four months later.

Why not brainstorm your own responses to the questions addressed by the study participants?

Then develop a compelling rationale for working persistently to achieve your highest priority goal(s), by answering the following questions:

  • what benefits do I expect to flow from reaching my goal?
  • how might achieving my goal enhance my life and/or the lives of those I care about?

Write down your answers and put them where you will see them often.

2. Create implementation intentions

Implementation intentions supplement SMART goals with details of when and how you will act to attain your goals.

Two types of implementation intentions are:

  • if-then-plans (“If situation X arises, then I will Y”)
  • when-then plans (“When situation X arises, then I will Y”).

For example, “If I feel upset by an email, when possible I will wait until the following day before sending my response.” Or, “When it is 5.27pm, then I will have left the office for the gym within the next three minutes.”

Several hundred studies have shown that deciding ahead of time when and how you will act in accordance with your goals helps you get started and avoid being derailed by tiredness or other distractions. As a result, goals are far more likely to be reached when paired with implementation intentions.

3. Establish peer accountability

What gets measured gets managed! This maxim is particularly valid when you feel accountable for acting in accordance with your goals.

The Agile software development methodology features mandatory morning stand-up meetings where team members publicly answer the following two questions:

  • “What did you do yesterday?”
  • “What will you do today?”

Knowing that tomorrow you will answer the first question helps brings focus to what you do today. Why not try this for a week so see if it works for you?

Read more: Time for a reset? How to make your New Year's resolutions work

Another way to harness the power of peer accountability is to partner with someone else (ideally other than a life partner) who is also serious about adhering to their resolutions.

Text or email each other what you commit to do each day for a month (for example, swim 1 km, not open email after 8 pm, no screens after 10 pm, call a friend, do 50 pushups, pray for 10 minutes).

Then in a brief phone chat at the same time each week, ask each other whether you adhered to each of your daily commitments during the past week. Make no excuses and provide no explanations. Simply answer “yes” or “no” regarding whether you kept each commitment.

The anticipated satisfaction in saying “yes” to those scheduled questions, as well as the powerful drive to avoid having to admit failure, can be a powerful motivator to keep yourself on track.

Of course, there’s no magic wand to materialise your New Year’s resolutions. But if you are serious about making a change, play with the possibilities to discover what “goal infrastructure” works for you.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/three-ways-to-achieve-your-new-years-resolutions-by-building-goal-infrastructure-105292