Willpower: An Exhaustible Resource

This is the time of year when many of us are trying to change bad habits and set our lives on a better course. And how do we expect to accomplish this? Through willpower. But what we forget is, willpower is an exhaustible resource. It is not limitless, and we have to be mindful of how we use it because we can and will run out of it. 

2020 was a year of unwanted barriers between our loved ones and us. And while we may not have realized it, saying no over and over again to the gatherings and celebrations used up our will power reserve. Now we have the new year resolution push, and we will ask for more willpower to help us achieve goals. But willpower is not limitless, and we have to take it slow, so we don’t burn out and feel bad about ourselves.

I know we all want 2021 to be better than 2020. But what we need to remember is that most of us are still running on fumes in terms of will power and restraint. And while setting resolutions for the new year can be a great exercise in reflection, awareness of the actual limits of willpower is crucial to our ability to exercise true self-control. 

Here are some Skedago tips we have to help you start small with healthy habits in 2021 so you don’t burn out before you even get started. 

Want to hydrate more? Keep a reusable water bottle with Skedago in it already in the fridge and ready to go for the next day. That way, when you are feeling less resolute, you have that hydrated and healthy beverage ready to go. 

Want to eat cleaner? Cut some fresh fruit and veggies and have them ready for your next snack attack. 

Ready to start meditating? Start small—even one minute of mindful breathing in the morning. Then slowly add on one minute each week until you are eventually at ten minutes. 

The book “The Willpower Instinct” by Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is one of our favorite willpower wisdom reads.  


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