Or, why ‘generous procrastinators dominate in December.’
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Lots of us have had the same New Year’s resolution for as long as we can remember. Losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and spending more time with family tend to top New Year’s resolution lists—but they are also among the most commonly broken resolutions. Although about 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent of us manage to achieve these goals.
Harvard School of Education professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey think we need to use a different approach to change. In their upcoming online EdX course, “Unlocking the Immunity to Change: A New Approach to Personal Improvement,” Kegan and Lahey apply their psychological theory that traditional approaches to making changes can ignore the more complicated underlying reasons people behave the way they do. I spoke with Lahey about why change is so difficult, and how her new course could help people overcome the maladaptive assumptions that are getting in their way.
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As the stroke of midnight rolled across the world’s time zones, people gathered in private and took to the streets to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, 2013. Fireworks erupted from Sydney to Moscow, and revelers gathered in London, Dakar, New York, Las Vegas, and thousands of other places, raising a glass, keeping warm, making resolutions, and wishing each other a “Happy New Year!”
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