Willpower Tips, Day 16. How to Finally Take Advice You've Heard A Million Times Before.

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

How to Finally Take Advice You’ve Heard A Million Times Before.

For me, the answer to this question is to

a) bring a specific study to mind.

Ideally I like a study with pictures (either a graph, or better yet a before and after brain scan).

A Graph about Doing 5 Minutes of Green Exercise

Scoot over here to look at a graph showing the effects of doing 5 mins of green exercise on self esteem (global sense of self worth) and mood.

Scroll to Figure 2 on the page labelled 3950.

The top graph is for self esteem and the bottom one is for mood. You can see that doing 5 mins of green exercise produced larger benefits than 10-60 mins.

Green exercise just means doing something that involves moving your body and doing it outside somewhere with some greenery (e.g., a park or a tree lined street).

Once I see a graph like this, I bring it to mind when opportunities arise to follow the advice i.e., take 5 mins outside.

The study you pick should show that the activity you’re trying to get yourself to do more consistently produces specifically the benefit you want, not just benefits in general.

For example, the donut study showing that utilizing self compassion after a willpower failure improves future self regulation is more powerful to me because I value self regulation more than say, just less guilt.

b) regularly remind myself of the big goal.

A second part of how I get myself to actually take good advice is something we covered on Day 10 – I frequently remind myself of my big goals, such as taking care of my body (including my brain), having fun, doing meaningful work, and having a fun, kind, and loving relationship with my S.O.

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