Now, don’t get me wrong. I am totally a willpower person. I am the BEST dieter I know, for instance, and I’m pretty diligent in other areas of my life as well. But here’s the thing:
All in all, forcing yourself to change just doesn’t work as well as we hope it will.
That’s the message of a great self-help book called Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.
I read this one a while ago, and took a few notes. Just for you, my dear reader.
You know: ’cause I love you.
Here are some of the awesome takeaways:
1. Relying on mental strength or willpower tires us. People who were asked not to eat a cookie during an experiment showed greater mental fatigue and gave up sooner on a quiz than people who were allowed to eat it before the experiment began.
2. Change your environment instead. Not buying ice cream in the first place greatly improves your chances of success on a diet.
3. We can train our feelings! Meditation actually helps us feel differently about whatever it is we want to change about ourselves. These good feelings give us the internal motivation to continue on the right path.
I love this stuff, don’t you?
Now, personally, I won’t be giving up my reliance on willpower entirely anytime soon. I’m just way too attached to it. But if I can make it a little easier to use by changing my environment and training my feelings? Heck, yeah, baby.
I’m all about making things easier on myself when doing so actually works.