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Adjusting your identity

Adjusting your identity

... to prevent self-control failures. Research has shown that people who have developed a self-image around virtuous activities are more likely to identify and resolve self-control conflicts.

For these people, indulging incurs a cost to their self-image – it contradicts the beliefs they have about themselves.

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It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

People that are great at self-control don't have to make more effort. Instead, they avoid effortful strategies and use easier ones.

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

  • Thought suppression: when you consciously attempt not to think about something. It can have some benefits in the short term, but it takes a lot more effort than other strategies and it will make your desire even stronger in the long-run.
  • Resisting temptatio...

Use a ‘commitment contract’. This is a way to impose costs on self-control failure.

Distractions cause cognitive load: they fill up your working memory. As a result, there’s less space for your long-term goals.

Many studies have shown that mindfulness is an effective way for boosting our self-control.

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