6 Jan 2010

Moderator vs. Abstainer

Happiness ProjectI really like this article from Gretchen Rubin who runs her Happiness Project. She writes about two ways of how you can approach changing your behavior. Gretchen suggests there are two types of peopel- a moderator and an abstainer. So, would you rather
stop buying wine all together or would you rather have a nice bottle now and than? Gretchen argues, that abstainer find it way harder to sometimes not to follow their resolution as it requires much more self-control than going "cold turkey". Moderators in turn would find not having wine anymore way too strict and not always appropriate, hence they are likely to abandon their resolutions if "trying too hard".
You’re a moderator if you…
-- find that occasional indulgence heightens your pleasure – and strengthens your resolve
-- get panicky at the thought of “never” getting or doing something

You’re an abstainer if you…
-- have trouble stopping something once you’ve started
-- aren’t tempted by things that you’ve decided are off-limits
So, for example, if you are an abstainer and trying to introduce a new activity in your life you are more likely to succeed if you do it every day. Quitting having an ice cream every day? Or, in my case, having a cup of coffee every morning when commuting to work? A moderator should allow two-three cups a week and may be reduce it slowly to one or two...

I find this approach very interesting and I think I might be a moderator - will give it a go with my daily lattes and see where it gets me two in ... let's say in two months!
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