Research suggests we may benefit from phrasing our goals in a speculative way: “Will I?” rather than “I will.” — this is called the Willpower Paradox.
Declarative self-talk (“I will”) is more likely to be linked to extrinsically motivated goals. Using interrogative self-talk (“Will I?”) allows for more time to build intrinsic motivation.
By switching from declarative self-talk to interrogative self-talk, we can consider whether we really want to achieve that goal. If the answer is yes, intrinsic motivation makes us more likely to succeed.
10 min read · From 2019 · Thomas1 was a highly successful and mild-mannered lawyer who was worried about his drinking. When he came to see me at my psychotherapy…
Carl Erik Fisher is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, where he works in the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry and teaches in the university’s master’s in bioethics program.