How To Hack Yourself

✨The Advanced Manual of Self-Improvement✨

Decision science tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions

Cassie Kozyrkov
48 min readDec 31, 2023

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Happy 2024! Chances are that you’re contemplating making some New Year’s resolutions, so let’s get you set up for success in the new year with this extended guide to crafting a self-improvement strategy that works, combining and extending all of my previous blog posts on the topic.

If you prefer a series of bite-sized reads, go here instead: bit.ly/quaesita_badreso

All copyright belongs to the author.

Here are the 14 best new years resolutions you can make, explained in detail with piles of tips and complete with explanations from psychology, economics, and decision science. This guide covers everything from memory hacking to motivation to the impulse control theory of multiple selves.

#1 — Resolve to stop borrowing resolutions

Designing an effective personalized self-improvement program can be a daunting process. It’s tempting to grab some ready-to-wear plan off the shelf, so if you’re not rummaging around in the scientific literature (and let’s face it, most people aren’t) then your likeliest move is to pick someone you admire and try to copy whatever they’re doing. And then, snap! The crushing disappointment as you fail to stick with it.

Quit borrowing other people’s resolutions! Design a customized approach that fits your unique circumstances.

Let’s preempt misery with better advice: stop trying to follow other people’s self-improvement programs to the letter. Whenever you’re tempted to copy your favorite celeb’s latest health plan, take a moment to think about some potential reasons that person is able to stick with it (assuming they are) which you might not know about. Do they have a private chef who takes food decisions out of their hands? Do they secretly loooove cabbage? Is their job less stressful than yours? And so on.

Role models aren’t always good for…

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Cassie Kozyrkov

Chief Decision Scientist, Google. ❤️ Stats, ML/AI, data, puns, art, theatre, decision science. All views are my own. twitter.com/quaesita