One of my favorite authors and thinkers, Daniel Pink, has a wonderful post on New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of making a resolution to do something new this year, Pink suggests making a resolution not to change something.
Interestingly, by reversing your thinking and asking a different question, you can get human psychology working for you instead of against you.
To understand, consider the following scenario: A person wants to stop eating junk food in 2012.
The common approach is to promise to stop eating salty snacks and candy bars altogether. This is a promise to your future self. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to sneak a snack tomorrow with a promise–that, really–tomorrow you’ll stop.
By flipping the question and committing not to change (e.g. eating only one bag of Doritos or one Snickers bar a day), you are also making a commitment to eat an additional 365 bags of Doriotes or Snickers over the next year.
Suddenly, the full weight of your bad behavior manifests itself in your mind and you can’t avoid the real consequences of your behavior. The result: You are more likely to stop eating as much junk food!
Go ahead and try it.
Interested in other ways to change your habits? Check out these old posts: