Research by Oettingen (European Review of Social Psychology, 2012) suggests that if we’re working on building good money habits, we might benefit from the “WOOP” exercise. Although it sounds like a fancy new dance step, it’s really just a quick mental strategy that helps you to predict what problems might get in your way and […]

It’s a new year and you’ve taken on a new money goal: saving more, spending less, or expanding your financial literacy. The self-help industry proposes that it can help you with these financial goals. Be careful! While some of the advice you read in self-help books may be sound, much of the advice perpetuates myths […]

Personal change is a popular topic this time of year as many individuals commit to New Year’s resolutions. As a reader of this website, you already know that successful attainment of self-improvement requires (1) setting a goal; (2) taking actions that lead you to your goal; and (3) monitoring your progress (allowing you to adjust […]

Hooray! I’m happy to celebrate three years of blogging about motivation, persistence, and impulse control and their relationship to financial health. It has been a great year. In July, I released my book Pocket Change: Using the Science of Personal Change to Improve Financial Habits. What a joy it has been to see this work […]

Every week in my change groups there is a “check-in” period during which group members report on the progress they are making toward their goals. I am often dismayed to hear them minimizing, belittling, or outright dismissing their weekly accomplishments because they feel they are too “small.” Somehow, they feel that their progress doesn’t count […]

One of the most common complaints I hear in my change group is that people feel “stuck” or “paralyzed.” They are ready to change a habit, and yet despite their good intentions, they feel unable to begin taking concrete steps. Here are three ideas that might help to mobilize you into action: Stop the exhaustive […]