Influence yourself. 3 tricks to make it stick!

Do you ever wake up on Sat morning and tell yourself that you will exercise today?
And then at 6pm when it’s time to get ready to go out for dinner, you kick yourself because there is no time left to exercise? (or is it just me?!)
Many of us just recently set some New Year’s Resolutions. How are they going? Statistics say that at least 25% of us let go of our new year’s resolutions after just 1 week. Well, good for you for the intention! And now to make the intention stick…here are 3 tricks.

  1. Set a time. In one study, a group of students was asked to write a report over the holidays describing what they did on Christmas Eve. Half the group was asked to specify exactly when and where they’d do their writing; the other half weren’t gven any specifc instructions. Only 1/3 of the later group completed the assigned task. More than 3/4 of those who defined exactly when and where they’d write the report completed it. In another study, chronic procrastinators who set a specific time to complete a task were 8 times as likely to follow through. (Schwartz, T. 2010, Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way we Work and Live)
  2. Make it a habit. For an ongoing behaviour, setting a time helps it become a HABIT. The more you allow for your mind to make a choice, the more likely you will make a bad choice. It is important to me to exercise every day but I used to be able to think of a dozen reasons why TODAY was not that day! Now, I’ve made it a habit. I don’t give my mind a chance to even think about it. At 6:15 I go to my gym. Period. No decision. That’s just what I do. It’s a habit.
  3. A little help from your friends….I wasn’t a runner. Never thought I could be.. And then one night I said it. Maybe it was a full moon – or the 2nd glass of wine… “I will join you and run a half marathon.” Done. Out there. Couldn’t take it back. It was that accountability that pushed me through my training. Early in the training when I was doing 3 min running to every 1 min walking I swore I couldn’t do it. I would have quit – without a doubt – if it weren’t for the accountability to my friends.

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