At the start of the year, you committed to giving up drinking and eating unhealthily. You joined the gym, determined to go daily. All your tax returns would be filed on time and paperwork was going to be up-to-date. 'What the hell effect' is what happens when, because you're a bit bored and restless, you sneak a treat. Then, having snuck a chocolate bar, you decide you might as well go for pizza - and who does that without one, two, maybe three beers? Pretty soon you've put on five pounds and haven't even started the filing. The remedy to 'What the hell effect' is counter-intuitive. The less willpower used and bashing of one's self-esteem done, the more we actually stick to things. Go to the gym and stop drinking, because you know you feel better when you do. Research shows that once started, the virtuous cycle carries on to other things in life. As for those tax returns: late penalty fines hurt a lot more than the tedium of filling out forms.
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