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什么时候制定目标最可能成功?

更新时间:2017-11-8 19:03:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is there a perfect time to set goals
什么时候制定目标最可能成功?

Are you putting off a big project that you really should start today – perhaps holding out for the perfect possible time?

你是否会推迟本来应该开始执行的大项目——可能是为了等待最佳时机?

You could be on to something.

这么做确实有道理。

Most people decide to make changes in their lives around landmark dates. Mondays and the New Year are obvious choices for initiating a new, goal-oriented behaviour, such as getting started training for a marathon, getting out of debt or striving for a promotion.

多数人都会在重要日子做出改变生活的决定。很多人都会选择星期一或新年元旦开始为某个目标改变自己的行为,例如开始马拉松训练、开始存钱或偿还贷款,或者为了升职而努力奋斗。

Academics call these dates ‘temporal landmarks’ – important points on the calendar which mark the passage of time and help people organise their lives into ‘chunks’.

学术界把这些日期称作"时间地标"——在日历上标志重要的时间点,可以帮助人们整理自己的生活。

But experts suggest people are more likely to feel motivated if they launch goals at a time that is personally meaningful to them.

但专家认为,如果在一些对自己有意义的日期启动目标,更有可能调动积极性。

Hengchen Dai, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, is one of several researchers who have studied this phenomenon, called the ‘fresh start effect’.

加州大学洛杉矶分校安德森管理学院组织行为学助理教授戴恒晨(Hengchen Dai,音译)就是一位研究这一"新起点效应"的学者。

Dai says that whatever you feel is a “psychologically significant transition point,” where you can leave behind your past, imperfect self – and your failures – is a time you’ll feel more motivated. “If it has a personal meaning or personal relevance to you, you are more likely to take on some activities to pursue your goals.”

戴恒晨表示,只要是"在你内心非常重要的转折点",让你可以摆脱过去那个不完美的自己——以及你所经历的失败——都可以让你感觉更有动力。"如果对你个人很有意义,或者与你个人有重要关系,你就更有可能采取一些行动来追求自己的目标。"

While this might be a weekly, quarterly, or seasonal cycle, you don’t need to stick rigidly to the calendar. In fact, you might have more success in getting started if you pick a different date – perhaps when starting a new job or the start of a new semester.

有些人可能选择某个星期、某个月、或某个季节开始执行,但你不需要严格按照日历来。事实上,如果你不按照日历选择一个日期,例如你可能选择从开始新工作或新学期的日子开始执行目标,或许能取得更大的成功。

Birthdays are also a popular choice, particularly if you’re approaching a milestone age. One paper by professors at New York University and UCLA found people are more self-reflective and make big life decisions as they approach a new decade.

生日也是个很流行的选择,尤其是当你接近重要的年龄门槛时。纽约大学和加州大学洛杉矶分校的教授发表的一篇论文发现,人们会在迈入下一个10年时展开更多反思,或者制定重大的人生决策。

In fact, the study found a significant amount of people take on new challenges on birthdays ending in nine. So, you’re more are likely to, say, sign up for a marathon aged 29 or 39 than at 30 or 40.

事实上,研究发现有很多人会在以9结尾的年龄迎接新的挑战。所以,你在29或39岁报名参加马拉松比赛的概率高于30或40岁。

Break points

转折点

New York-based career coach Rebecca Kiki Weingarten says her clients are always looking for fresh starts, but the timing “depends on each person's work style and motivational needs. Some clients plan for after vacations, [while] some are athletes and use their specific sport season and work around that.”

纽约职业教练里贝克·基吉·温加滕(Rebecca Kiki Weingarten)表示,她的客户总在寻找新起点,但时机"取决于每个人的工作风格和激励需求。有的客户规划假期结束后的事情,还有的客户是运动员,他们会利用具体的赛季来解决问题。"

Some people find that being laid off, or a relationship breaking-up is the best time to take on projects, careers, financial changes, or personal changes that they'd been putting off for a long time or ‘never got around to’,” says Weingarten.

温加滕表示,有的人发现,丢掉工作或者与爱人分手是接受项目和职业挑战,或者开展财务或个人变化的最佳时机。你之前可能把这些事情推迟了很久,或者"从来都抽不出时间来处理"。

Some of her clients are more motivated in the lead up to a significant birthday, an anniversary commemorating the birth or death of a loved one.

她的某些客户在重要的生日、纪念爱人出生或死亡的日子表现出更高的积极性。

Success not guaranteed

不保证成功

People tend to have more long-term success with goals that require a one-off action, such as signing up for retirement savings.

如果是需要一次性行动的目标,人们往往更容易取得长期成功,例如报名参加退休储蓄。

But while we might be able to harness a meaningful date for a fresh start, this is no guarantee of success in the long run, says Katherine Milkman, a professor of behavioural economics at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of the study into the fresh start effect with Dai.

然而,与戴恒晨共同撰写那篇论文的宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿商学院行为经济学教授凯瑟琳·米尔克曼(Katherine Milkman)认为,虽然我们或许能为新起点找到一个有意义的日子,但却不能保证一定成功。

Dai agrees. “In terms of how long-lasting that behaviour will be and whether the persistence will vary based on temporal landmarks, that’s an open question we’re still exploring.”

戴恒晨也认同这个观点。"具体到这些行为能够持续多久,以及你的毅力是否会因为时间地标而变化,这个问题还没有标准答案,我们仍在研究。"

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