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A Simple Way to Trick Yourself Into Better Behavior

If you have a significant other, you certainly know that today is Valentine's Day and you'd better pick up a gift on the way home from work. But did you know there's another event wrapping up today? Yes, over at blog BPS Research Digest today marks the end of 'sin week,' a seven day exploration of bad behavior, its psychological underpinnings and how to avoid straying from the path of righteousness (perhaps the two events are related after all).

Those looking for a personal confession for each day of the week -- and each deadly sin -- should click over to BPS, but there is a career-related point here for the office up-and-comer as well. The site also offered a few quick and dirty tips to help those teetering on the edge of misbehavior avoid becoming sinners. Willpower is notoriously week, so if you know you will be tempted towards misbehavior, the BPS suggests you don't simply pray for restraint, offering an alternative and an office-related example:

When your willpower levels have been drained by an earlier test, that's when you're most vulnerable to temptation. One way to protect yourself is to form so-called 'if-then' plans. For example, imagine that you wanted to avoid getting angry the next time your boss is overly critical, you could form the plan 'if my boss says my work is amateurish I will recall the time that I won an award' â€" a thought which will hopefully have a soothing effect. The effects of so-called 'implementation intentions' have been researched in-depth by Peter Gollwitzer.
Like in so many areas of life, when it comes to avoiding bad behavior, planning ahead so you're prepared under pressure pays off.

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(Image courtesy of Flickr user Chuck "Caveman" Coker, CC 2.0)
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