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“偷懒”如何能帮助你实现目标

更新时间:2018-2-28 20:56:04 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How cheating can help you reach your goals
“偷懒”如何能帮助你实现目标

By February, many New Year’s resolutions have already fizzled out – anywhere from a third to half of us have already given up by the second month of the year.

新年头两个月转眼已逝,很多人的新年愿望就已经失败了——大约有三分之一到一半的人刚过了两个月就放弃了新年许下的决心愿望。

Several small studies underline that while more than 40% of us set these kinds of goals, less than half stick with them over the course of the year. One survey found just 8% of respondents achieved their aspirations over any time period at all.

一些小规模的研究显示,虽然超过40%的人会制定各种各样的目标,但真正坚持一年的还不到一半。一项研究发现,只有8%的受访者能在任何一段时间内坚持实现自己的抱负。

Although these resolutions are notoriously tough to reach, this doesn’t stop people trying. So here’s a fresh tactic for setting – and sticking with – your goals.

虽然这些目标很难实现,但人们不会因此而停止尝试。所以,可以通过一种新的方式来设定和坚持自己的目标。

‘Low-cost cheating’ could help people reach their goals. That’s according to Marissa Sharif, an assistant professor of marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"低成本作弊"有助于人们达成目标。这种说法来自宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿商学院市场营销助理教授玛丽莎·谢里夫(Marissa Sharif)。

How it’s meant to work: An all-or-nothing approach to goals is all wrong, Sharif’s research suggests. She says we should instead be building ‘emergency reserves’ into our goal-setting process.

具体应该怎么做?谢里夫的研究表明,不是成功就是失败这种二分法是完全错误。她表示,应该在制定目标的流程中建立"紧急例外"机制。

That is, a specific type of structured flexibility, such as cheat days, may help us stay motivated.

也就是说,特意安排一些灵活性(例如放松一天)有助于我们对达成目标保持积极性。

Of course, those of us who follow fitness and savings programmes might already be familiar with the strategy of building in release valves to ease pressure on ourselves.

当然,参与健身或储蓄项目的人可能已经很熟悉这种通过"泄气阀"给自己减压的方法。

Yet many people are far too rigid when goalsetting. By being too strict, we’re making our goals less attainable, Sharif says.

但很多人在制定目标时仍然过于死板。谢里夫表示,过于严格的计划反而会降低我们达成目标的概率。

For example, in one field study, 273 people used a smartphone  app to count their steps for a month. The first group were asked to reach an individualised specific step goal, for example 7,000 or 10,000 steps per day, seven days a week. A second group needed to hit their goal on five days or more. A third group targeted their steps over seven days, but with two ‘emergency skip days’ per week (that didn’t roll over). A fourth group’s skip days were spread across the month.

例如,在一份实地研究中,共有273人使用智能手机应用统计自己一个月的步数。第一组被要求达到严格的目标,例如每天7,000步或10,000步,每周七天都要达标。第二组只要求达标五天或更多。第三组针对七天时间设定总步数目标,但可以有两天"偷懒日"。第四组的偷懒日则被分配到一个月内使用。

The people who were allowed cheat days reached their step goal more days per week on average than those without them. They also took more steps on average.

平均来说,有偷懒日的人每周达标的天数没有偷懒日的人更多,他们的平均步数也更多。

Sharif says this type of cheating works in two ways. First, people resist using up their reserves, in case they’re needed later. They also feel bad about wasting them in a non-emergency scenario. Second, if you do need to use your ‘cheat,’ you feel less guilty about falling off the wagon in the first place and are thus less likely to give up on the overall goal, she adds.

谢里夫表示,这种偷懒方法通过两种方式发挥作用。首先,人们不愿一下子用光所有的偷懒日,以免日后需要偷懒时却已没有偷懒日可用。在非紧急情况下浪费这种机会也会给他们带来不好的感受。第二,如果你的确需要使用"偷懒日",半途而废的负罪感就会降低,也就不太容易放弃整体目标。

This ‘cheating’ mindset helps people to keep sight of their longer-term vision, says Leena Rinne, productivity expert at US consultancy FranklinCovey. “While goals are initiated by making a choice to achieve something, it’s the choices in the moment that get you there. And, one of those choices is to allow yourself some ‘emergency reserves’.”

美国咨询公司GranklinCovey生产力专家丽娜·里尼(Leena Rinne)表示,这种"偷懒"思维有助于人们始终着眼于长期愿景。"虽然目标是由做成某件事情的一个选择而发起的,但真正把你带到那里的是着眼于当下的各种选择。而其中一个选择就是适时让自己'偷懒一下'。"

But there are limitations to using ‘emergency reserves’ techniques. If people have too many options to cheat (for example, a goal of going to the gym seven days of the week with four emergency skip days), they may take advantage of them, which could hit performance, says Sharif. Or, people may feel equally demotivated if they go beyond the number of emergency reserves they’d planned on.

但"偷懒日"也存在一些局限。谢里夫表示,如果人们有太多的偷懒日(例如,目标是每周去七天健身房,但却有四天偷懒日),他们就有可能滥用偷懒日,这样放松偷懒的效果会对整体目标产生影响。或者,如果人们使用的偷懒日数量超过既定计划,他们同样会感觉失去动力。

And, says Rinne, people have different motivations for reaching their goals. Structured flexibility might work for some, but it might prove demotivating for others who prefer not to have a safety switch.

里尼则表示,人们实现目标的动机各有不同。特意安排的灵活性对某些人来说可能有用,但对其他不喜欢"安全开关"的人来说,反而会使之失去动力。

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