Willpower is not an effective long-term strategy for behavior change because it is inconstant. When we are stressed-out, tired, and hungry our willpower will leave us vulnerable to any temptations we encounter. Fortunately for us the more committed we are, the less willpower we will need. Shaping your environment will shield you from temptation. By removing the temptations that reward bad habits, we can extinguish them without exerting our willpower. It doesn’t require willpower to shape our environment. It requires commitment. Continue reading Environmental Design is a Great Substitute for Willpower
If you want to change your behavior, you must address the Elephant in the room. In the New York Times bestselling book, The Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, the authors describe the struggle we all face when we want to change our habits. The battle is between the logic-driven part of our brain, the Rider, and the emotion-driven part of our mind, the Elephant.[i] The Rider is weak and prone to overthinking things, becoming overwhelmed by decision fatigue and analysis paralysis. The Elephant, on the other hand, is powerful and instinctive, fueled by emotions and primal urges. The Elephant can easily overwhelm the Rider, especially when he is indecisive. The Path they travel is the external environment. The Rider can influence the Elephant’s behavior by shaping the Path, but he cannot overcome him through brute force. Continue reading Behavior Change – The Elephant in the Room
Willpower won’t work! Habits happen. The easiest way to interrupt a bad habit and replace it with a good habit is by shaping your environment. So many people beat themselves up over a lack of willpower when what is missing is a lack of commitment.
When you are committed, you’ll shape your environment to eliminate temptation and foster the behavior you want to adopt. If you’re serious about eating healthier, you will remove junk food from your home and always ensure you have healthy food available.
When you are committed, you don’t rely on willpower; that inner resource that depletes as the day progresses leaving us vulnerable to temptation. If you take a moment to reflect, you will realize that most of your bad habits occur during the last hours of your day. That is because your willpower has left you naked to temptation. If you haven’t remove the temptation from your environment, you have effectively set yourself up for failure. If you want to change your behavior, start by changing your environment.
Learn more, Learn the Skill of Willpower & Identify ONE Bad Habit, Interrupt and Replace It.
“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” Charles Duhigg author of the Bestseller, The Power of Habit
This week’s challenge is to develop willpower. Willpower is absolutely necessary to our success. It is the one skill that allows us to develop every other skill. We all struggle with willpower, but if we are serious about growing and getting better, it needs to be a daily priority. The great news is that we can all develop it. If you don’t believe you have willpower, we will need to address that self-limiting belief because it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” Henry Ford
First, we will dispel the notion that willpower is a character trait and not a learnable skill. Next, we will learn some strategies to cultivate willpower. Last, we will learn how to reduce our need for willpower by controlling our environment. Continue reading “The Habit: Week-16 (Learn the Skill of Willpower)”