Know Your Addictions

What are you unable to stop after you start? Do you: Tell yourself you'll eat just a few chips, then eat the whole bag? Watch funny YouTube videos "for a few minutes", and then notice that an hour has passed? Choose to have "one drink", and end up having five? Decide to play video games "for an hour" and then later discover you've been at it the entire night? Tell yourself you'll check your stock portfolio "just once more" today, and then check it three more times? Regardless of w...
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Wanting While Not Wanting

Why do people who hate that they overeat keep overeating? Why do people who know that their girlfriends or boyfriends are bad for them keep taking these girlfriends and boyfriends back? Why do so many people who want to go to the gym never actually bother to do it? These circumstances can be explained, at least partially, in terms of desires changing and conflicting with each other. What we want when we consciously reflect on a situation sometimes differs from what we want when we are actuall...
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If That Didn’t Solve Your Problems, Try Something Else

One of the big challenges to self-improvement is getting yourself to try a new strategy instead of the same thing over and over again. If you already experimented with calorie counting diets four times, only to gain the weight back after a few months, you'll be very likely to gain the weight back again next time you try this type of diet. If you tried to get yourself to exercise by buying a monthly gym membership, but barely used the gym in six months, the fact that you have a gym membership pro...
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You Know That Worst Problem In Your Life? Go Fix It!

Sometimes it is obvious to us what our biggest problem is. We can pinpoint one thing in our life that is by far our biggest source of unhappiness or stress, and we know that if we were to correct it, our life would be substantially improved. When this happens, it makes self-improvement easier in a certain sense, since it provides us with an obvious route to improving life. If you have twenty problems, all of which produce roughly equal reductions in your happiness, it can feel overwhelming just ...
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