STANLEY SCHACHTER WAS PUZZLED. A researcher
at Columbia University, Schachter was well versed on the studies
of weight-loss and smoking-cessation programs. According to the
research, only 10 to 30 percent of the people who participate
in those programs are still slender or nonsmoking one year later.
Ten to 30 percent. That ain't much.
These studies prompted some researchers
and therapists to assert its nearly impossible to stop
smoking or control ones weight permanently.
What puzzled Schachter was that most of
the people he knew who wanted to lose weight or quit smoking
had somehow been able to do it successfully. He conducted some
interviews of his colleagues and friends, and it confirmed his
hunch: Those who had tried had succeeded.
He has now spent over twenty years doing
research on this, and he has concluded that the key to success
in changing long-standing habits is practice. According
to his research, people who have successfully quit smoking have
tried and failed a number of times before they finally
succeeded. The same was true about losing weight. Apparently
you have to learn how to keep the change, and after you
learn how, it begins to become a new part of yourself that eventually
requires very little active effort to maintain.
Thats why the studies of weight-loss
programs and stop-smoking studies look so bleak: Each is a study
of only a single attempt. Schachter found that the more times
you go through one of these programs, the more likely the change
will be permanent.
So if you have tried to change and failed,
try again. And keep trying. You can change...and you can
learn how to keep the change. All you need is practice.
Keep persisting until the change
you want happens.