The Good Life
Are you confident you can stick to your New Year’s resolution, whether it’s eating healthy, exercising, or getting rid of clutter? Turns out you may be over-confident, and that could stand in your way. A study in the journal Psychological Science says the key to sticking with that resolution is simple: Don’t overestimate your own self-control.
The researchers found that those with an inflated sense of impulse control are more likely to expose themselves to their temptations and ultimately fall into the trap of giving in to those temptations. In other words, it’s not a good idea to keep that pack of cigarettes in the house if your plan is to quit, or to leave those chocolates on the top shelf, supposedly out of reach, if your resolution is to lose weight.
The study authors say people need to appreciate the destructiveness of addictions and take a humble view.
They point out that some addiction programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, have realized the danger of inflated impulse control beliefs. One of the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous is that an alcoholic should admit powerlessness over alcohol.
Granted, the purpose of this study is to improve addiction programs, but it is also easily applied to New Year’s resolutions.
Bottom line; be very specific on what your goals are, and focus on ways to avoid the temptation.