Use business research and expertise to start the year off right

By: Stephen D'Angelo

The New Year brings a number of resolutions that span a wide spectrum of personal and professional goals, and motivation in pursuing these goals can be an ultimate marker of success, or failure.

Research by Kaitlin Woolley, associate professor of marketing and management communication at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, highlights what the data tell us about staying motivated when pursuing your goals, whatever they may be.

Woolley says people can harness the discomfort of achieving personal growth by seeking it as their goal and offers other tips for how to stay motivated in their New Year’s resolutions.

“Embrace discomfort. Experiencing discomfort can be seen as a steppingstone to getting to that goal that you care about – the key is to embrace discomfort as your goal, rather than avoid it,” she says. “We also know from exercise studies that feeling discomfort, either during or after a workout, can actually help people stay motivated to work out – gym-goers saw the discomfort as a signal the exercise was working.

More from Woolley can be found here: Tips towards staying motivated in pursuit of your New Year resolutions

Further, at a time of new beginnings, many people will focus on building healthier financial habits in the New year. Faculty experts Vicki Bogan and Emily Garbinsky share tips on how to start 2022 off on the right financial foot.

Bogan, an associate professor of applied economics and policy at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, says achieving healthy investing habits for households means developing a solid grasp of financial literacy, embracing diversification and taking advantage of investment programs offered by employers and governments.

“It’s hard for people to feel the pain (or cost) of saving when the benefits of those choices are enjoyed in the future. When you think of retirement savings, it’s magnified because retirement is very far in the future,” she says. “Signing up for your 401K plan is important. Many of these plans allow you to opt in and then employee investment is limited as the fund is managed for you.”

More from Bogan can be found here: Develop healthy investment habits in 2022.

Garbinsky, an associate professor of marketing and management at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, is an expert on consumer finance well-being and studies how individuals and couples make financial decisions.

According to Garbinsky, creating healthy financial habits for oneself can be hard. Doing so in a relationship, when a couple shares financial responsibility, is even harder.

“For couples, engaging in any financial behavior expected to be disapproved of by one’s romantic partner and intentionally failing to disclose this behavior to them has a negative impact on a relationship,” she says. “People who pool their finances are more satisfied in their relationship, and they’re also more likely to stay in the relationship and less likely to break up.

“If restoring perceptions of financial responsibility is primarily about being honest with oneself, truly the solution for the majority of financial stress we see in relationships is about transparency and being honest with one’s partner.”

More from Garbinsky can be found here: Healthy habits for financial, matrimonial bliss