Improvement Pill here. I'm sure all of us at one point or another have told ourselves, promised ourselves that we get something done.
Maybe we told ourselves that we'd finish that essay by the end of the week.
Maybe we told ourselves that we'd start hitting the gym this summer or maybe we even told ourselves that we'd finish that book some YouTubers suggested we read.
But often times we find ourselves not doing the things that we set out to do, and that's not good.
It's never good when you say something and you contradict it. It hurts your self-esteem.
So today we're gonna be talking about exactly how to actually do what you say that you're going to do, and the best way for me to do so is by referring to a study that was published in the British Journal of health psychology.
This study looked at a group of 250 people who were separated into three different groups.
The first group was told to follow an exercise routine for the next two weeks.
The second group was told the same thing as the first group, but they were also shown videos and clips about the benefits of exercise.
This group was called the motivated group and these videos served as the motivation.
The third and final group was told the same thing as the first group.
They were also shown the same exact videos as group number two, but on top of all of that they filled out the following sentence, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise at blank place at blank time.
This concept is called implementation intention. Basically when you write down the conditions of completing a task.
So let's take a look at the results of this experiment.
Out of the first group, 38 percent of the people exercised at least once a week for the next two weeks.
Out of the second group, which was the group that was shown motivational videos, only 35 percent of them exercised at least once a week for the next two weeks.
So it seems motivational videos don't really do much, and might actually be counterproductive.
And finally the third group, the group that used implementation intention had a whopping 91 percent of their participants hitting the gym at least once a week for the next two weeks.
That is significantly higher than the other two groups, and it goes to show just how effective implementation intent is.
Now, there have been hundreds of studies looking at the effectiveness of implementation intention.
There have been studies on dieting, studies on making reading into a habit, studies on working and all of them point to the fact that implementation intention is extremely effective in terms of getting you to do the things you say you're going to do.
Now the question remains why.
Why does writing down a short little sentence which takes no more than a minute do so much.
Well, think of it this way. Let's say for example, you're someone who wants to start a new exercise habit.
You'll often find that you'll wait around for the right moment, the perfect opportunity where you're filled with motivation to go and hit the gym.
And more often than not, that moment never comes.
The majority of people are simply not filled with motivation all of the time.
However, when you write down exactly when and where you will exercise, it changes everything.
You no longer have to wait for motivation because you've already set an appointment.
See studies have actually found that in terms of willpower, it actually takes more willpower to make the decision of going to the gym than the actual workout itself.
It takes more willpower to put on your shoes and step out of your door than the actual workout.
So if you make the decision beforehand, you save yourself from having to spend willpower on the day of, and this makes the process of hitting the gym much easier, especially after a long day of work where your levels of willpower are already low.
So for those of you that want to stick to a habit or get something done, I suggest you take advantage of this trick.
So what I like for you to do in the comments below is to write out your own implementation intention.
Let me know what it is that you'd like to accomplish, and when and where you're going to do it.
Something important to note is that you should make your implementation intention as reasonable as possible.
If you have a big task like an essay that needs to be done, break it down.
So instead of saying I'll complete my essay at the library tomorrow at 5 p.m., it's more effective to say I'll write the first two paragraphs of my essay at the library tomorrow starting at 5 p.m..
The simpler the task, the less of a chance you'll avoid it.
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