Healthy activities: Before, you don’t want to do them. After, you feel emotional reward that you did them.
Unhealthy activities: Before, you want to do them. After, you regret doing them.
For healthy, think exercise, cooking a nutritious meal, helping a friend, even reading a book.
For unhealthy, think putting off exercising, eating junk or even just eating too much, staying home when you could help a friend, and watching TV.
Examples: I never feel like doing burpees before doing them, but I’m always glad I did. Same with cold showers and marathons. On the other side, when I felt tempted to eat donuts or sugar cereal, I’d regret it from the sickly feeling they’d leave in my mouth. I love the feeling of exhaustion after a hard workout.
The lesson: your impulses often steer you away from what improves your life. Notice how you feel about an activity before doing it. Act on what you value, not your impulse, but be aware of how your impulse feels.
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