Last Friday, for Resolution Week on the Bleader, I blogged—OK, whined—about having to quit smoking for a third time after a foolish (and foolhardy) lapse. Thanks in part to catching a terrible cold, I think I’ve succeeded. But I have a long list of other resolutions: cook at home more, exercise more, etc etc. The usual.

So my eye was caught by this piece in Sunday’s New York Times. In it, Science Times columnist John Tierney, coauthor of a book on willpower, assures the reader that you’re more likely to achieve your goal if you make a formal resolution and stick to it throughout the month of January, then adds that “with a few relatively painless strategies and new digital tools, you can significantly boost your odds of success.”