General chatter - Understanding habits and self-control

12-01-2013, 12:13 PM
Hi chicks and roosters!

I just wanted to share this article (from a favourite website of mine) reviewing a book about habit and self-control.

I just like that it points out that self-control is limited. It reminds me to forgive myself if I make a mistake, relax and "recharge" more.

"The Psychology of Self-Control"

Mrs Snark
12-11-2013, 07:47 PM
Great article, thanks for sharing! It explains why everything gets so much easier once new habits are firmly established, because once that willpower tank is empty you can fall back on autopilot good habits!

12-12-2013, 02:25 AM
Interesting. It just occurred to me, that willpower is not us fighting against an external temptation. It's us being in conflict with our own internal desires. So essentially we're in battle with ourselves. Of course it's going to cause a strain and be exhausting if we allow that conflict to continue.

I was wondering why I'm better at exercising willpower these days, but I'm actually better at conflict resolution. When I get that primal desire for instant gratification, I have better skills now at soothing that part of me and telling myself that it's not actually needed and I can go without. I don't try to beat myself into submission with sheer willpower. I'll just calm down. Instead of pushing forward, I step back.

I'm not sure if that makes sense, but this little thought exercise just made something clearer for myself :-) Need to think about this a bit more and write a blog post about it! :-)

12-13-2013, 02:18 PM
I find it very helpful to distinguish between will-power and motivation. To me my recent success in weight loss and actually my weight gains had little to nothing to do with will-power.

I have always had will-power. Always. I was raised in a single-family household and my mom never went to college. I never had one moment of one day doubt I would get into college. I had AP classes, did my homework, straight As, did all my college applications myself, and I got into wonderful colleges.

I was a fit 190-210 through my mid 20s. I then went on a medication that too me to 300 in a few months. I also had some life setbacks and never quite got back. I got down once in the subsequent 20 years to around 230 where I am now. But then back up to near 300 for the most part.

A few years ago we became adoptive parents. It was a long process that required a lot of us. We choose foster care adoption. We had our first placement who we feel in love with go back to relatives. You're not a parent, you ARE!, then you aren't. Our daughter we had a relative come forward 3 days after she was placed with us and she had been in foster care for 7 months before that with nothing from this relative.

But it all worked out.

So what got me going this time and what is never going to stop? Motivation. We adopted 2 years ago but it took till 2013 for it to really sink in that when my daughter is 15 I will be 60. We also started caring for my uncle. He is a beautiful person with a beautiful mind who now has dementia. Diabetes runs in my family.

So wanting to be healthy and around for my daughter, seeing my uncle suffer, knowing I was heading to diabetes, and just wanting to be fit and energetic and clearer of mind everything clicked. My motivation set in. I've never ever lacked will-power. I haven't acquired more will-power since May. I wasn't without it when well, fat.

To me its all about the motivation. You have that then the will-power we all possess with be able to be accessed.