Sometimes we do things we know we shouldn’t — eat junk food, check our phones constantly, procrastinate. Research suggests an unusual way to motivate yourself to change your behavior: Imagine that a villain is conspiring against you. By directing your anger and anxiety at an invisible scapegoat, the “forces working against you” can seem more tangible, so you feel like you have more power to fight them. This scapegoat has to be imaginary, however. If you assign blame to someone specific (say, a boss), you may shirk your responsibilities and won’t change your actions. Having a clear enemy to rebel against — someone who doesn’t want you to leave that extra cookie on the plate, or get back to writing that email — can help you summon the willpower you need to succeed, even if the enemy isn’t real.