If you plan, then you'll do ... but it helps to have a friend!
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Friendship (Influence)
Activities of daily living (Social aspects)
Pub Date: 03/22/2012
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Spring, 2012 Source Volume: 15 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Name: New Year Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 282741104
Full Text: Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. While you are more likely to do something if you plan it in advance, research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), shows that partnering up or planning with someone can really boost the likelihood of sticking to your resolutions. This finding suggests that 'buddy schemes' could make a big difference to people following dieting plans or health programs and could be integrated into government well-being initiatives.

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"Specific plans regarding when, where, and how a person will act, have been termed 'implementation intentions," explains Professor Mark Conner from the Institute of Psychological Science at the University of Leeds. "We already know that these kinds of plans can be really effective. You set up cues that prompt your planned behaviour--'if I walk to work on Monday, then I will jog home', 'if I feel hungry before lunch, then I will eat an apple, not a chocolate bar.' "

But research by Professor Conner and his colleagues, Dr Andrew Prestwich and Dr Rebecca Lawton from the University of Leeds, has now demonstrated that this effect can be made even stronger if you get other people--friends, family, and colleagues--involved too.

Economic & Social Research Council (2012, January 4). If you plan, then you'll do ... but it helps to have a friend. ScienceDaily, Retrieved January 5, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104111906.htm.
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