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25th Apr 2017

This little trick will help you quickly ditch any bad habit

It works, apparently

Katie Mythen-Lynch

If your lack of willpower is putting the kibosh on your attempts to ditch your worst habits, this little trick could change everything.

Apparently, it’s possible to correct certain behaviours by using a little thing called the ‘if-then’ method.

Peter Gollwitzer, a psychology professor at New York University, told Fortune:

“Take drinking too much in the company of your friends as an example. In the “if” part of the plan, you identify the critical situation that usually triggers your bad habit. Perhaps the trigger is being offered a drink by your friends.

In the “then” part, you specify an action that can halt accepting the offer such as responding to it by saying that you prefer a glass of water today.

And then you link the “if” and the “then” parts together by making an “if-then” plan: “If on Friday evening my friends offer me a drink, then I will answer: I prefer to have a glass of water today!”

It works

It might sound too easy to be true, but studies show the ‘if-then’ method really works and it has helped countless study subjects quit their addictions and achieve their goals. In fact, you’re almost three times more likely to be successful using this solution.

Focusing on your diet this week? Turn ‘Eat less’ into ‘If my colleagues are going for lattes this morning, I will order an Americano’.

Determined to work on your fitness? Switch out ‘Do more exercise’ with ‘When I get home from work, I will go for a jog before dinner’.

We’re giving it a bash, starting now.


Bad Habits