3. Make small environmental changes for a big impact
Sometimes all it takes is a little rearranging of your immediate domain to keep you on track, like moving enticements out of sight and out of mind or putting positive obstacles in your way. If the sight of a candy jar on the counter is too delicious to resist, try putting a bowl of fruit in front of it, or tuck it away inside a cabinet.
4. Create a contingency plan
This step, which the researchers call implementation intention, involves a little bit of planning that can go a long way. A 2010 study from NYU found the simple process of articulating “if, then” scenarios provide a game plan of sorts, a lasting association in your mind that reduces the likelihood of forgetfulness or procrastination and improves your perseverance toward your desired outcome.
5. Make a decision in advance — and stick to it
We know from research that declaring a decision in advance is a great way to help you stick to your word when it comes time to act. A recent field study found that employees who placed their lunch orders in the morning made meal choices that were five percent less caloric than their co-workers who ordered at the cafeteria and didn’t plan ahead.
6. Be mindful of your indulgences
This strategy could be particularly powerful for mindless indulgences, or cravings you don’t really notice until you’ve already satisfied them.
Mindfulness practices, like meditation, or just actively taking note of how frequently you check Facebook, for instance, can provide the reality check you need and a burst of motivation to rein in your self-control.
7. Grab an accountability buddy
Why go at it alone when you can invite a companion along on your journey? Ask someone you trust to hold you accountable for your intentions with gentle nudges and reminders, congratulations whenever you’ve made the smart choice instead of the indulgent one, and have them check in periodically to see how you’ve been doing.
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Written by Mallory Stratton
Originally appeared on Thrive Global
Republished with permission.