A guy called Dr Roy Baumeister, who is one of the most famous social psychology PhDs, has a new book out about Willpower. It’s based on many research studies by his research group and by others.
3 Practical Takeaways from his research are:
1. How to strengthen willpower
– Willpower is like a muscle you can strengthen. So, when you are trying to make a change in your life, generally don’t start with the biggest change. Start with something that is small and achievable, and strengthen your willpower capacity before taking on something harder (This is one of the key principles behind my 30 Day Projects. You can join one of these projects anytime, if you are keen on working on strengthening your willpower).
2. When you use willpower in different domains of your life, and for decision making, you are draining the same tank of willpower for everything.
– When you use willpower in different domains of your life and for decision making, you are draining the same tank of willpower for everything. So, generally do not try to change everything in your life at once, and limit day-to-day decision making so as not to drain your willpower tank. (This is another key principle behind my 30 Day projects e.g., this month’s project is focussed on picking the 2 most important tasks each day, in order to reduce overthinking).
3. Willpower is only one component of self control.
– Willpower is only one component of self control. Another component, for example, is “stimulus control” which is about manipulating your environment to reduce the willpower required. For example, going to the shop to buy a small bag of chips when you want chips, rather than keeping big bag in your house.
Helping Get This Info Out to Others
If any magazine editors are reading this, and are interested in this topic of their magazine, let me know. If you’re a regular person, and would like to include this blog post in your workplace newsletter, just ask: admin (at) aliceboyes (dot) com. I am always keen to make this type of science-based, but snack-sized, info available wherever people are reading.
To Learn More About My Current 30-Day Project
here is my blog post about it.