Spend a couple of minutes here soaking up wisdom, or melt your brain with this Ke$ha song, your choice.
There’s a gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do. You know you should go to the gym instead of watching TV, but you come home from work and turn on Bachelor Pad.
You know you should save more for your retirement, but Best Buy keeps enticing you with massive discount on tablets. If human beings were completely rational, there would be no gap between what we know and what we do.
Why the gap? Because our environment has more impact on our choices than we think. To see real results in behavior change, try changing your milieu first. Side-step your willpower by putting yourself in fail-proof situations.
How to Short-Circuit Your Will Power By Changing Your Environment
- I know I’ll spend cash if its in my wallet, so I don’t carry cash. For others, they may overspend with plastic, so they only carry cash and employ the envelope system.
- Instead of writing a check each month to invest in your retirement account, set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account.This way you don’t even make the decision, “Should I put money in my investments this month?” because the decision is made for you.
- When it comes to eating healthy, if you don’t buy junk food in the first place, then you don’t have to decide whether to eat well or not. If there’s no soda in the fridge, then when snack time comes around the decision to drink water is already made for you.
Here’s the bottom line: We put too much emphasis on strengthening our will power and disregard the influence that our environment has on our decisions. Its easier and more effective to first look for ways to change your surroundings and then focus on behavior change.