The New York Times

How to Crush Your Habits in the New Year With the Help of Science

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

MAKE 2019 THE YEAR YOU ACTUALLY DO ALL THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO. WE ASKED THE EXPERTS AND CHECKED THE JOURNALS FOR THE MOST USEFUL TIPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HEART.

It’s the shiniest time of year: that hopeful period when we imagine how remarkable — how fit and kind, how fiscally responsible — our future selves could be. And while you may think “new year, new you” is nothing more than a cringey, magazine-cover trope, research supports its legitimacy.

“It’s not like there’s something magical about Dec. 31,” explained Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit.” “What is magical is our mind’s capacity to create new narratives for ourselves, and to look for events as an opportunity to change the narrative.”

One such opportunity? January. Since most

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
Exercise During Pregnancy May Have Lasting Benefits for Babies
Newborns whose mothers exercise during pregnancy may become physically coordinated a little earlier than other babies, according to a captivating new study of gestation, jogging and the varying ability of tiny infants to make a fist. The study’s find
The New York Times4 min readPolitics
Don't Assume Trump's Approval Rating Can't Climb Higher. It Already Has.
(The Upshot) Donald Trump doesn’t always seem like a candidate focused on expanding his base of support. He may have done so anyway. The share of Americans who say they have a favorable view of him has increased significantly since the 2016 election.
The New York Times5 min read
Prose That Forced Us to Pause, Put Down Her Book and Think
(Critic's Notebook) You need to be able to read to be able to read. Especially if Toni Morrison did the writing. I at least thought I knew what it was for my eyes to sail across and down a page, through a flight of description or a feat of characteri