I have recently joined a group called Slimming World, where slightly overweight people like myself join other slightly overweight people once a week with the aim to … you guessed it… loose weight! One of the techniques used to help us attain this is implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, 1999). Implementation intentions consist of making a plan so that when a specific situation arises (e.g. going to McDonalds after work), a specific outcome is already decided, and this automatic response is now elicited (driving another route home from work to avoid McDonalds). We write these down at the beginning of each new week and share them with our group.
And it works!
Gollwitzer, P. M. (1999). Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. American psychologist, 54, 493.