When You Don’t Do What You Meant To, and Don’t Know Why

The New York Times:

HOW many times has this happened to you? You firmly decide what you’re going to do — whether it be going to the gym or asking your boss for a raise or placing a much-delayed call to a friend.

But then, you end up doing exactly what you did not intend to: sitting on the couch eating ice cream, letting one more day go by without speaking to your boss or calling your friend.

Issues of procrastination and will power come into play, of course. But how we decide what to do, and why our decisions often go the wrong way, are more complicated than that.

Two books scheduled for release in March look at why we often do not make the right decisions — or follow through on the ones we planned — and how we can change that.

Francesca Gino, a professor of psychology at Harvard and author of one of the books, “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed and How We Can Stick to the Plan” (Harvard Business Review Press), offers this anecdote. She and her husband visited a souk in Dubai, determined to enjoy the day and to buy something authentic to help them remember the experience when they returned home.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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