I found this ridiculously cool. Something that falls a bit into the "duh" category of scientific research, and yet, something I probably wouldn't have given a second thought to: when you're trying to stop yourself from doing something, the way you talk to yourself makes all the difference.
The key? Use the word "don't". Say to yourself "I don't eat junk food" instead of "I can't eat junk food" and you'll be way more likely to resist the junk food.
It makes so much sense! It applies both to your own sense of power (saying "I don't" is way more empowering than "I can't"), as well as other peoples' perceptions (think the difference between a vegetarian saying "I don't eat meat" and someone on a weird fad diet saying "I can't eat anything that brings joy to life"). While other peoples' thoughts of you don't really matter, they also do because if other people feel even a modicum more supportive and understanding of your efforts, they'll be, even subconsciously, that modicum more supportive and understanding of your efforts in some tangible way.
Try it with me, in a unified sing-song voice: "I don't eat junk food", "I don't skip workouts", "I don't leave dishes in the sink for days", "I don't forget to give Andrea presents every time I see her."
Ta-daaaaa! Goal achieved.