Monday, April 7, 2008

Practicing willpower

I just read this New York Times story about developing willpower . Essentially what it is saying is that the brain can only handle so much focus on willpower at a time and when it focuses really strongly on one area, others may slip. It confirms my own experience. Whenever I've really tried to change habits before in the past - staying on a budget or a diet or a workout plan - I've found that while I'm building the new habit, it almost feels like a part-time job to focus on making the change. I suppose it's somewhat comforting to know that is normal and that it will get easier. It's interesting that increasing your practice of willpower in one area will, over the course of time, make it easier to increase it in other areas. That will be helpful since I'm currently trying to commit to an exercise schedule and work on my finances at the same time. In the meantime though I may need to let go of my housecleaning.


andrea said...

this article is fantastic, and it's really scary how i can relate. i wonder if they will discover that some people are genetically inclined to have more willpower. or not inclined, like... oh let's say.. me.

Anonymous said...

That is so weird. I'm currently obsessed with watching my entire financial well-being be flushed down the toilet! I must be Bizarro Katydid. In other news, I think my parents have a ceramic lamp in the shape of Ron smoking a pipe with a raincoat on.