Food, alcohol, shopping, or the "bad boy" who needs to be out of your life permanently, are all temptation traps you must avoid. When you learn how your mind processes the seductive messages it receives every day, you'll begin to understand how to resist temptation once and for all.
Is it really true that you could resist temptation if you try harder? Yes and no. In addition to the "devil on your shoulder" prodding you to make bad choices, there's others equally responsible. Marketing and sales professionals spend billions of dollars enticing you to buy what they're selling. And guess what? 9 times out of 10 you're better off not buying it.
You can always simply say no to the latest electronic gadget or a sparkling new necklace from the shopping channel. But it's hard to do because there's psychology behind the sales pitch. Your buttons have been pushed in exactly the right order to unlock your resolve. A good manipulator will use the same techniques in your personal relationships. Even bad habits sabotage your own good intentions.
Susan Diamond writes Prayables at Beliefnet