Friday, December 20, 2013

The Power of "I Don't" Over "I Can't"

A number of months ago, I learned of a study via Lifehacker that was conducted by The Journal of Consumer Research.  In the study, they split subjects into two groups, then presented those subjects with a temptation.  The group that used the internal mantra "I can't x..." actually broke down on their promise at twice the rate that the group that used "I don't x..."

Not only that, but the "I don't x..." group persisted in their fortitude more successfully in the long term as well.

At the start of the year, unbeknownst to the benefits of the use of the phrase "I don't x..." I started saying "I don't eat sweets," when offered them.  And for about a full calendar year, I haven't broke down once.

However, after having read the report, I started incorporating the mantra as it pertains to my trips to the gym.  Dozens of times I have said to myself that "I don't miss workouts," while lying there dead tired in bed.  And every time my big butt has hauled itself out of bed and headed off to the gym.

It may not work for everybody, but more me it has been a very powerful tool. 

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