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 […]

Ready to work on a money goal? When you’ve designed your goal, write it down. We are more likely to achieve written goals than unwritten ones. The findings of neuroscience support this claim. Brain researchers have discovered that neurogenesis (the birth of brain cells, or neurons) continues throughout life. They have also discovered that neurons […]

Researchers have long known that we are more likely to change a habit when we define a specific goal (like “increase the amount of money in my savings”) rather than a vague direction (“get better at money management”). Beyond that, researchers have now shown us that if we can attach specific and meaningful labels or […]

Every good party planner knows that the job is much easier when you stick to a theme. Having a theme allows you to sort through the seemingly endless options for invitations, decorations, food, and music and narrow it down to the most relevant choices. It simplifies and accelerates the decision-making process. If I open up […]

There’s probably no one who needs a “Plan B” as much as an adventurer who is climbing Mount Everest. Climbers are encouraged to formulate simple rules that will help them make a decision about when to bail out, even if their thinking skills are impaired by stress, fatigue, and lack of oxygen.  For example, a […]

We know that the more emotionally miserable we feel, the more prone we are to give in to life’s temptations, such as impulse purchases and spending sprees (and chocolate cake!).  When depression, anxiety, and stress combine, they create the perfect storm that renders us defenseless against bad financial habits. Let’s take a look at why […]

The statistics on New Year’s resolutions are quite dismal. Psychologist Richard Wiseman calculated that 88 percent of all resolutions end in failure. A group of scientists who study human behavior change (Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente) has demonstrated that resolutions are typically made for five consecutive years or more before people can make a change “stick.” If […]