Wellness Wednesday: What’s so Great About Self-Control?

Today’s Wellness Wednesday contributor is Prof. Marina Milyavskaya: When we think about attaining our goals, we frequently think about the need for self-control. But does restraining one’s desires actually lead to better outcomes? In this study, we examined participants’ experiences of temptations in their daily life. Five times per day for seven days, participants responded (on their smartphone) to questions about their experiences of desires that conflicted with personal goals, and the extent to which they used effortful self-control to resist these desires.  Two months later, we assessed how much progress participants made on three personally important goals. Contrary to predominant views, the use of self-control was unrelated to goal progress. However, those people who experienced more temptations in the first place (whether they resisted the temptations or not) were less likely to attain their goals. A blog based on this research was written by our very own Tim Pychyl. Read it here. An article describing this research(in the broader context of research on self-control) was featured in Vox. Click here for the actual copy of the paper.