Don’t underestimate your willpower

Los Angeles Times:

Every year about this time, I write a list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s the usual stuff: Work out three times a week, cut back on coffee and alcohol, floss daily, relearn Spanish, watch less television, etc. I then put the list in the drawer of my bedside table, where it remains until I take it out a year later and laugh at my lack of progress.

I’m not alone. The enthusiasm with which Americans make New Year’s resolutions is matched only by our chronic inability to see them through. Gyms are packed in January but clear out by March. According to surveys, only about 10% of resolutions survive a full year. There’s no shortage of good advice on how to bolster willpower, including one piece I’d be smart to take: Don’t hide your resolutions in a drawer.

Other ideas include keeping goals realistic, planning how they’ll be implemented and enlisting the help of friends and family for encouragement and accountability. These are all helpful tips, but there’s one important thing missing: belief. Specifically, recent studies suggest that when it comes to willpower, we get what we expect.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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