You know those parts of your personality that you’re not overly fond of or the traits you’d like to like to have more of, in an ideal world?
The study allowed participants to choose between two interventions: to improve one’s conscientiousness (i.e. self-discipline) and the other to improve one’s openness to experience and action. The results of the study showed that those who wanted to be more self-disciplined, as well as those who wanted to be more open to action, were both lacking in these areas before intervention.
Over a two-week period with smart-phone based intervention, both groups showed improvement in their chosen areas, unlike the second group of participants who didn’t receive the intervention at all.
The daily intervention proved super successful and was deceptively easy. The first group of participants received a daily text message that offered encouragement and suggestions. That’s it.
So, this research shows that two weeks of daily reminders to stop or start a behaviour can actually change certain personality traits in the longterm. You don’t even need an app to do this — it’s something you could incorporate into your daily routine. Try writing encouraging notes and reminders for yourself to look at first thing in the morning, much like a mantra.
Stopping or starting a behaviour might be tricky in the beginning but if you continue working at it, it’ll eventually become a habit and won’t require so much forethought.