We’ve all seen those brutally honest anti-tobacco ads featuring people ravaged by cancer from smoking. They’re hard to forget. You’d assume that means they’re effective, right? Well, not so fast. Research suggests that anti-smoking messages are more effective when focused on the benefits of quitting (i.e reduce the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure), rather than the damage caused by smoking. In psychological parlance, “gain-framed messages” appear to be more effective than “loss-framed messages,” at least when it comes to public health warnings.
As someone who lost 50 lbs. I know this certainly worked for me. All the years of negative self-talk and obsession with my chins and cellulite only made me want to reach for another slice of pizza. Yet, only when I took the time to focus on the benefits of losing weight and wrote down all the ways my life would improve as a result did I seem to get traction. Re-reading those benefits daily helped keep me on path and focused.
Be your own motivational speaker! Inspire yourself to go after what you really want by spending mind time on the positive benefits gained as you move closer to your goals and dreams.