There is this belief that willpower is a finite resource.
Research done in the 90’s + early 2000’s hinted at the idea that if you use a bunch of willpower early in the day, it will become depleted. Then later in the day, you’ll make all these decisions you might not have otherwise made if your willpower tank was full.
This hasn’t exactly been debunked, but what’s true (based on what we know today) is that willpower is a finite resource or something that strengthens with practice depending on WHAT YOU BELIEVE.
If you believe willpower is a finite resource, then it will be for you.
But if you believe willpower is muscle that strengthens, not weakens with use – then you will actually have MORE willpower after exercising it.
Ah – the mind twisting science of psychology.
But to be perfectly honest – willpower is irrelevant in behavior change.
White knuckling your way to a lifestyle change doesn’t work. You just get good at white knuckling (dieting) and saying screw it.
Changing our lifestyle is a lot like learning to play guitar (or golf or piano). We have to build up our skills (reading music, tuning a guitar, reading tabs and chords, etc.) before we can rock out a Jimi Hendrix solo.
If we want to lose weight + keep it off, we need basic skills like tuning into our hunger signals, planning and prepping, eating slowly, etc.
Starting another restrictive diet is a lot like picking up a guitar and trying to play it like a pro. It wastes a bunch of time and energy and gets you nowhere.
The next time you find yourself thinking…
“But I want to lose weight quickly!”
…ask yourself how long it might take you become a decent guitar player – or golfer.
Practice leads to skills and skills lead to achieving goals.