The best way to exercise self-control is not to exercise it at all

You’ve had a long week but fortunately it’s Friday and things are looking up. After grinding through the day, you stop on the way home to buy groceries for dinner. After getting the necessities, you decide on impulse to buy a dozen cookies. You’re on a diet, but you reassure yourself that you’ll eat only one, two at most, to celebrate the arrival of the weekend. Once home, you enjoy your celebratory cookies as planned. Two are enough, but despite your best efforts you continue eyeballing those remaining cookies. Wouldn’t they go great with milk? Maybe just one more with a glass? Before you know it, you’ve polished off a dozen cookies and several glasses of milk, and you’re cursing your poor self-control.

Laverl Z Williamsonis a graduate assistant in psychology at the University of Wyoming.