Aristotle knew a thing or two about the philosophy of “fake it ‘til you make it.” In his day, though, he didn’t call it that. Instead, he explained that we become virtuous by first putting virtues into action, we become disciplined by first exercising good self-control, and we become courageous by first performing acts of […]

Research by Oettingen (European Review of Social Psychology, 2012) suggests that if we’re working on building a healthy new habit, we might benefit from the “WOOP” exercise. Although it sounds like a fancy new dance step, it’s really just a quick mental strategy that helps you to predict what problems might get in your way […]

When we’re trying to change a difficult financial behavior, the obvious question we ask ourselves is: “What is getting in the way of doing the right thing?” This helps us to identify barriers and obstacles and to design ways of getting around them. What we often forget, though, is another important question: “What is allowing the […]

Imagine that there is a slight twist on the old magic genie scenario, and the genie offers to answer three questions for you. Committed as you are to your financial change efforts, you decide you are going to use your questions strategically. You want the answers you receive to accelerate your progress toward your financial […]

It’s summer camping season, and along with camping comes the tradition of S’mores. This year, when I eat the marshmallows, I’ll be thinking of one of the greatest psychology experiments of all time.  Commonly referred to as the “marshmallow study,” it was conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960’s. In the experiment, […]