Resist any temptation by rehearsing how you’ll act ahead of time

Takeaway: Rehearse how you’ll react during a tempting situation to increase your chances of resisting that temptation.

Estimated Reading Time: 50 seconds.


Summer is coming, and with summer comes temptation – DQ Blizzards, unhealthy barbecues, and in my case, hoards of beautiful women. Luckily there is one proven way to resist temptation later on – rehearse in your head how you’ll act.

Our minds often have a tendency to switch back and forth between what is better for us in the short- and long-term.1 Luckily, if you want to tug your mind to focus more on the longer-term, rehearsing the situation in your head ahead of time works wonders.

According to Winifred Gallagher, “when you rehearse in your head how you’ll react to the lure of the all-you-can-eat buffet or the neighbourhood watering hole, you’re much likelier to resist temptation than if you trust in your spontaneous response.”2

It only takes a minute or two, and believe me, it works. The next time you know you’re going to be in a tempting situation, rehearse how you’ll react ahead of time to significantly increase your changes of resisting temptation when the time comes.

  1. “I really shouldn’t eat that donut, I need to drop another five pounds.”  “No man, trust me on this one – one donut won’t hurt that goal too much, you can always burn it off later!”  “Actually.. I really want to fit into that elephant-shaped speedo for the ladies at the beach this summer!”  “Dude, don’t worry about that.. They’re maple glazed!!” 

  2. Source: RAPT, a great book on managing your attention. 

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