Nearly every adult in the United States resolved to change some behavior, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. However, people consistently reported that a lack of willpower was the top reason they fell short of losing weight, exercising, or making other lifestyle changes.
What’s the secret to willpower? Just as you build muscles with consistent exercise, regularly practicing self-control may improve willpower strength over time, recent studies suggest.
- Avoid situations where you’ll be tempted. If you’re likely to give in to treats near the office coffee station, take your break somewhere else.
- Plan ahead. If you want to exercise after work, schedule a specific time instead of telling yourself you’ll do it sometime that night. Put that specific time on your calendar.
- Try not to take on too much at once. Research shows that using willpower in one area may drain self-control in other areas of your life where you will need willpower soon. Focus on one goal, strengthen your willpower, and then take on more goals.