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See the difference? It may be subtle, but experts say it makes a world of difference.
The study authors found that when they asked people "Do you recycle?", the question itself reminded them that recycling is a positive and productive thing, prompting them to do it. In the same vein, they were more likely to actually recycle because not doing it made them uneasy.
Now, just swap recycling for going to the gym, and your resolution is set.
"When we ask ourselves questions like, 'Will I exercise, yes or no?' we create more freedom in the power of making a choice," says Emmanuel Dagher, transformation specialist, holistic health practitioner, and author of Easy Breezy Prosperity. "Asking questions like this also allows us to move more into a feeling state, rather than an analytical state. So for example, does it 'feel' good to think about the idea of how awesome I'm going to feel after I work out today? Yes, so I will go ahead and work out. If it feels better for me today to not work out, that's fine too. The pressure has lifted, and I can actually enjoy working out, rather than forcing myself to do so."
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While making this one little swap can actually motivate you to follow through on your goals, Dagher notes that you can actually take it one step further.
"Add things like 'What would happen if...' or 'How much better would life be if...'" he says. "These questions activate the imagination a bit more so that the mind can start to think outside of the box, where greater fulfillment usually starts to happen."
Ready? Set? You're good to go for 2018.
Find more tips for living a better life in Emmanuel Dagher's book Easy Breezy Prosperity.