Friday, August 6, 2010

Wondering and Wandering

One of my favorite magazines is Scientific American Mind. Each issue always has a theme and there are longer and shorter articles covering how the mind works, from a variety of angles. Check it out. Great plane reading and generally a good mag to keep around the house to pick up and put down.

Anyway, on a plane yesterday I read this article covering a study on willpower. My interest was piqued. Willpower is something that I always felt I didn’t have enough of. Case in point – my inability to say no to a cinnamon roll from Upper Crust Bakery. So this study had a group of people who were going to start an exercise regimen. One group was told to focus on the phrase “I will” before and during their trial of a few weeks or months or whatever. The other group was told to focus on the phrase “Will I?”. The results? The latter groups was markedly more successful.

Its pretty interesting to me that the group that was left with an open-ended mindset, one that left them the ability to make a choice, was the group that excelled. And the more I think about that, the more I’m down with it. In fact, I tried it last night – just repeating the phrase “Will I” over and over in my head. I think I actually felt my stress level drop. When thinking “I will”, I end up feeling pressured and guilty – all negative feelings. So this article definitely resonated with me.

So I’m going to give it a shot. Will I finish my book? Will I keep up with my 3x a week Crossfit workouts? Will I eat well? We’ll see, but this seems like a good (and much less stressful) starting point!

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