Starting a new habit is as traditional part of a New Year's celebration as eating black-eyed peas. This year, consider starting a journal. It's a great way to mark accomplishments and things you're grateful for (or things you would rather avoid in the future).
Francesca Gino studies negotiation and decisionmaking at Harvard Business School. But in her recent post for the HBR Blog Network, she takes up the benefits of showing gratitude. It's a terrific post, and here's a taste:
For the past two years, I’ve kept a daily journal of my work life. The purpose was to see if capturing stories and related statistics could help me be more productive and effective at work. It has done that and a lot more.
When you find a pattern of mistakes, disrupting that pattern often involves making a new, more productive habit. For example, when I ran into trouble keeping all my tasks and meetings straight, I adopted the Getting Things Done method. It took a number of weeks till the method was ingrained in my daily routine. Building a new habit isn't easy - we can slip up even if we know the habit is in our best interests. That's because building a habit - i.e., making something automatic - requires a lot of cognitive energy, something our brain actively tries to conserve. But it can be done. These tips came from a post on the Penguin Books blog by author Kelly McGonigal. She is the author of The Willpower Instinct. For more explanation, see the original post.