Put Your Willpower Where Your Goals Are
To succeed at self-discipline, you must observe yourself and discover where you fail. Kelly McGonigal says we need to learn to “observe ourselves with curiosity, not judgement”. A lot of her students are trying to quit smoking, lose weight, save money, and achieve many of the things we all sometimes struggle with – thanks to willpower scarcity.
Roy Baumeister moots self-control as a metaphorical muscle that we can exercise and strengthen. Matthew Gaillot sees it as energy management. There’s only so much willpower to go around. Wang and Dvorak suggest that our brains treat energy like banks treat money. They’ll let us have it for things we don’t really need, but when we really need it they hang onto it for themselves.
We have plenty of self-control until we need it. Use it on something meaningless and there won’t be enough left when you really need it. If you’re forcing yourself to avoid chocolate all day, don’t be surprised when you scream at your kids after work with less provocation than usual. It’s a scarce resource – put your willpower where your goals are.
#accountability #selfdiscipline #results #focus