We’ve blogged before about what has become know as the ‘Stanford Marshmallow Tests’ from the late 60s and early 70s.


Where children were offered either one ‘treat’ of their choice now or two if they waited for an amount of time.


They could chose any treat they liked but we’ll call them all marshmallows for simplicity’s sake.


And how later follow ups showed that the children who were able to defer the immediate pleasure of the one marshmallow for the greater long term pleasure of two………..


Went on to earn more, live longer, have lower body fat levels, greater reported happiness scores and various other similar measures (on average).


That ability to defer smaller immediate pleasures for greater long term ones shown in their early years continued in different aspects of their life.


And it’s something that people struggle with.


They know they want the slimmer, more energetic, less bloated, longer lasting body more than they do the cake / biscuit / beer / wine in front of them.


But they end up eating / drinking it anyway.


Often knowing they’ll regret it and it won’t be worth it before they start.


Thinking that they’ll regret it and it won’t be worth it while they are eating / drinking it.


And immediately regretting it after.


And doing the same again the next day.


And again, year after year.


We know, because we’ve been there.


And we’ve helped many hundreds of people who’ve been there.




I’ve been reading up recently on the further studies conducted my Walter Mischel and their team.


Related to what you might call ‘self control’.


And it identifies loads of things you can do to help.


Many of them sound obvious.


But when you see the stats behind them, you’ll hopefully look at them a little bit differently.


And, more importantly, be more likely to give them a go.


After all, all the info in the world won’t do anything unless you at least try and use it.


So, this week, each day we’ll cover one thing you can do.


Just one per day.


Don’t want to over-face people.


But, the deal is, you have to give it a go.


We got a deal?


########## Day 1 – Visibility #############


In one version of the experiment, the team made only one adjustment.


Half of the children tested had experiment explained to them and we left with the marshmallow on a tray in front of them.


The other kids had the same but the tray was then covered over with a another tray so they couldn’t see what was on it.


The difference.


The first group ate the marshmallow (or rang the bell to signify the wanted to) in less than 1minute on average.


The second group lasted an average of over 19 minutes.


20 times as long.


A HAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEE difference, we’re sure you’ll agree.


The obvious parallel?


Just don’t have those foods in your house.


Or if you must, don’t have them on display or somewhere that you’ll end up seeing them.


There is no need to have them in the house really though it there?


For the kids?


If you don’t think you should be eating it, why should they?


If your other half insists, ask them nicely to put it somewhere you won’t see it.


If you explain that it’s important to you, they shouldn’t have a problem with that.


If when you open your fridge and cupboards all you see is healthy stuff, you’re bound to eat more healthily then if you see crap.


Stands to reason!


But, just look at that stat.


20 times longer when they couldn’t see it.


Give it a go.


Clear out that rubbish.


Why not?


Even at work, there might be something you can do to reduce how much it’s on display.


Tempting you.


Ask the team to put it in another room.


Even just putting something between you and it so you don’t see it every time you look up.


Again, what’s to lose?


Give it a go!



Much love,


Jon ‘Defers cake and beer for being able to keep up with kids and live longer for them’ Hall and Matt ‘Defers beer and takeout for less back problems, better sleep and just feeling better’ Nicholson

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.