Saturday, April 21, 2012

So Long Bad Habits!

We've all set out to change a bad habit into a good habit and failed miserably at making the change. Usually we chalk it all up to not having enough will power to make ourselves do what we want to do. But recent research has shown that there are other things that get in our way and surprisingly (At least it was to me!) is that one of the things that derails our plans is too many choices.

For example, we set a goal to exercise in the morning, but when the alarm goes off we are suddenly faced with the choice of hitting the snooze button and getting just ten more minutes sleep. If we survive the next ring and actually get up we are faced with a decision of what to wear and where to walk and how long to walk. This may seem funny, but research has actually shown that lots of decisions wear away at our self-discipline. A myriad of decisions depletes our will power!

Therefore, one of the things that can help us develop the good habits we are trying to establish is to limit the decisions we make or make them beforehand so that at the time of action we only have to do what we have already decided to do.

For example when trying to get in the habit of exercising in the morning, the night before you lay out your clothes and map out exactly where you are going to go. You decide that you will not hit the snooze button and so when the alarm goes off you get up immediately before the brain starts to present other options, put on your clothes and get out the front door. By doing that you significantly increase your chance of success.

1 comment:

Camille said...

Thank you! I'm laying out my exercise clothes Sunday night and I won't snooze in.