Habits > Willpower

In the book The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal explains how your willpower is just like any other muscle. It gets tired. If you’re relying on your willpower to make the changes you want in your life, you’re likely going to fail. In the book Foodist, Darya Rose talks about the secret to eating better and the answer is not to go on another diet. It’s to build positive eating habits into your life. Positive habits beat willpower every time.

They say it takes 21 days to build a new habit.

It’s never to late to start building new habits into your life. I’m ashamed to say this, but it wasn’t until last year that I started flossing daily. Now it’s a daily routine for me. This month, I started doing the 7-min workout every morning. Now I roll out of bed and start doing jumping jacks. 7 minutes isn’t much, but that’s kinda the point. Overcoming inertia is the hard part. If you can’t find 7 minutes a day, it’s time you loosen up your schedule.

And there are plenty of tricks to help you get started. I found I was happiest when I biked to work instead of sitting in traffic and dealing with parking tickets. So I sold my car and treated my bike to a tune-up from the Bike Doctor (highly recommended service by the way).

I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. For me the secret has been as simple as being intentional about finding what makes me happy and then turning those things into daily habits.

  • Have you read The Power Of Habit? There's a cool bit in there about how willpower itself can actually become a habit.