The Willpower Instinct

How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More Of It

According to the American Psychological Association, Americans name lack of willpower as the number one reason they struggle to meet their goals. We know that learning about willpower can increase self-control.  That’s good news for you because you are going to learn a lot about willpower. Today we are going to discuss the 3 parts of willpower, why knowing yourself is crucial to strengthening self-control, what willpower shares in common with muscles and how your self-judgment affects willpower. I am going to sprinkle this talk with many scientifically proven strategies that will assist you in increasing self-control!

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“If there is a secret for greater self-control, the science points to one thing; the power of paying attention. It’s training the mind to recognize when you’re making a choice, rather than running on autopilot. It’s noticing how you give yourself permission to procrastinate, or how you use good behavior to justify self-indulgence. It’s realizing that the promise of  reward doesn’t always deliver, and that your future self is not a superhero or a stranger. It’s seeing what in your world, from sales gimmicks to social proof,  is shaping your behavior. It’s staying put and sensing a craving when you’d rather distract yourself or give in. It’s remembering what you really want, and knowing what really makes you feel better. Self-awareness is the one “self” you can always count on to help you do what is difficult and what matters most. And that is the best definition of willpower I can think of.”

~Kelly McGonigal, PH.D. from The Willpower Instinct

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Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and a leading expert on the mind-body relationship. She teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program and is a senior teacher/consultant for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Her work demonstrates the applications of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.

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