I have to admit I’m getting lazy. As always, my New Year’s resolution is to get in shape. But the protein shakes and five a.m. wake up calls just aren’t as appealing as they used to be. Why am I unable to stay true to my goal and exercise more?*
Every year I find myself thinking about the same thing as I reach for that second piece of cake. In fact, only about eight percent of us stay true to our New Year’s resolutions. As the weeks move forward, our brains shift toward delicious treats and away from exercise.
So what can we do? Lauren darling, you need a commitment device.
Commitment devices are tools that can help you to stick to your goals. For example, some people may start a blog to track their mileage while training for a marathon. Or they could decide to sign up for an exercise class. Even just having a structure to follow could become a commitment device.
For you though, I like temptation bundling the best. In order to accomplish something that may not be appealing, combine it with whatever you want to do. For example, if you’re just dying to hear that new mystery podcast (or maybe read the latest econlife post), tell yourself that you can only listen to it when you’re at the gym.
I hope that these (behavioral economics) commitment devices help you as much as they did me! See you at the gym!
*This question was formulated by the EconLife team.