Don’t Expect Your Will Power to Overcome Unfair Obstacles!

We are well into January now.  How many of you who set resolutions on January 1 are still keeping them?    I would argue that resolutions are helpful any day of the year if they are not casually (or habitually) made (and re-made!).

According to a recent New York Times Magazine article, “Be It Resolved“, most people fare better with a resolution to guide them, but will power is limited.  It is helpful to keep in mind that will power has actual physical limits that are reached as fuel gets low and demands are high.

In short, it is smart to keep from becoming over-hungry, and it is also wise to avoid unfairly challenging a limited resource – your will power.  I know this makes intuitive sense to most people when they think about how desperate it feels to be ravenously hungry.  Will power takes a big hit during those times.

Similarly, we all know how we feel when faced with a series of challenging food temptations.  A person may resist the Cinnabon’s call at the local mall, but later the donut tray at work is just too much to resist.  Sound familiar?

I think it helps to think of will power as a limited resource.  You only have so much, so keep your supply replenished with healthy food on a regular basis, and don’t set yourself up to deplete quickly by continual exposure to will power drainers (unfair exposure to tempting foods).

I know this is easier said than done, but knowing there are strategies that help will make it more logical.  Then watch what happens to your will power.  It may not be as mysterious as it once seemed.


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