Finite Willpower

Do you struggle to get through the day making decisions or suppressing impulses that require control?

In the morning, do you sleep later or work out? Eat a healthy breakfast or grab a doughnut? For many people, just getting through an afternoon of choices to stay on task when they’d rather being doing something else is hard. Having held it together all day, saying no to urges and impulses may be harder to resist in the evening.

Self-control takes mental energy and when that energy gets low, some believe, so does our ability to control our impulses. This may be why so many people have a late night snacking habit, stay up too late or get in arguments at home. Willpower energy may run out, but there are strategies to stay in control such as:

  • Anticipating and planning for situations ahead of time. Laying out work-out clothes the night before or packing a healthy lunch.
  • Practice to form habits. Train yourself to get into behavior routines so you don’t have to fight so much temptation.
  • Sleep. Lack of sleep creates willpower depletion.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The brain is a high-energy organ that is powered by blood sugar.

Evidence suggestions that willpower depletion can be kept in check by your beliefs and attitudes so instead of focusing on pleasing others, motivate yourself with your own internal goals and desires.

“Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair.”   Napoleon Hill