Michael Matthews Bigger Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.pdf

You might be surprised by how far these little self

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coffee you drink, or how much time you spend surfing the Internet. You might be surprised by how far these “little” self-control exercises can go in increasing your ability to make bigger changes in your life, such as adopting a new, healthier lifestyle. Another highly effective way to train your willpower is to use a strategy called “precommitment,” which entails taking action now to strengthen your position and commitment to a behavior and ward off any underhanded attempts at sabotage from Future You. 66 For many people, the best way to beat temptation is to simply avoid facing it in the first place. For example, if you have trouble with procrastinating on the Internet instead of working, you can download a program called Freedom ( ) that turns off your Internet for a set period of time. Anti-Social ( ) blocks social networks and e-mail. If sticking to a diet is your struggle, you could precommit by throwing out every bit of tempting junk food in the house and not buying it again, bringing a healthy lunch to work every day that you’ve prepared, or joining a “Diet Bet” at . If you want to ensure you do your workouts, you could pay for an annual membership at your gym instead of going month to month. Another good tool for precommitment is the website Stickk ( ), which was created by Yale economist Ian Aryes. The site allows you to set a goal and time frame, put money on the line, decide what happens with the money if you fail (it goes to charity, for example, or even to an organization you don’t like, which can be a stronger incentive), designate a “referee” who will monitor your progress and confirm the truthfulness of your reports, and invite supporters to cheer you on. In short, anything you can do to show that you mean business and to make it difficult and uncomfortable to change your mind and give up is going to help you keep your impulses and feelings at bay and thus keep you on course. NOTHING FAILS LIKE SUCCESS Once we’ve decided on a goal, what do we crave most? Progress, of course. We want to see positive change and forward movement to give us the energy to push even harder. But that’s not how it necessarily goes. It turns out that progress comes with a risk: complacency. Research has shown that some people use progress toward a goal as an excuse to let off the gas and indulge in some self-sabotage. 67
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When we make progress, we can be lulled by feelings of accomplishment and entitlement. As with moral licensing, we can feel that our one step forward has earned us the privilege of taking two steps back. Instead of patting ourselves on the back and pondering all the progress we’ve made, which increases the likelihood that we will act contrary to it, we should view our successes as evidence of how important our goals are to us, or of how committed we are to seeing the process through to the end.
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  • Winter '17
  • Santos O'Neill Garcia
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