According to Statistic Brain and several other sources, losing weight is the most popular and common New Year’s resolution – and probably also every other year. Shedding a few pounds, getting fit and staying in shape seems to be on top of everybody’s priority list.
But as the resolution happens to reoccur every year, it obviously didn’t work out so well during the year that’s behind us. People all over the world are struggling with managing their weight and fitness. What if there was some sort of magic mind hack to make working out seem less hard?
Turns out, there is:
Social psychologist Emily Balcetics has researched a method that makes it 17 to 30 % easier to exercise. It’s also free and only takes a second to incorporate into your workout! In her TED Talk “Why some people find exercise harder than others” for TEDxNewYork, Balcetics explains how vision is one of the biggest factors to work out regularly. For example, dieters see apples larger as people who are not counting calories. Our perception is a subjective experience. What we can focus on at any given point is actually only our thumb on our stretched arm – everything else is blurry. But we have to clarify and make sense of what it is that we see, and it’s our mind that helps us fill in that gap.
This is how we see the world through our own mind’s eye. But our mind’s eye might work against us: Some people may literally see exercise as more difficult, and some people might see exercise as easier. Depending on their motivation and current fitness level, people estimated the distance to a finish line very differently in one of Balcetics studies.
Find out how Emily Balcetics and her team researched this hypothesis, which interesting correlations between fitness, motivation, vision and perception they found and, most importantly, how to trick yourself into seeing exercise as easier in TEDxNewYork’s TED Talk!