Scientists have found a new trick for completing your goals is an article in Quartz discussing a new study on self-control.
The research found having people just remember a couple of prior times they were successful at exhibiting self-control increased the chances of them being able to do so in the future. They found that people would get frustrated if they asked them to remember more than two, and they’d get discouraged if they were asked to remember their past self-control failures.
In the self-control lessons I’ve discussed in my books and here in my blog (see The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control), I always have students share on prior example of success. I also ask them to share one example of failure. I think the benefit of the laughter that comes from students sharing those stories outweighs any potential negative consequences that this study found.
But it is a good reinforcement to periodically invite students to remember a past instance when they were successful.
Here’s an excerpt from the study: