Don’t Fall for the Willpower Trap

Like almost everyone else, I had a list of goals I wanted to accomplish.

Here we are one month left in the year, and I’m wondering where has the time gone?

If you’re anything like me, it’s much easier to focus on what hasn’t been accomplished. What are the goals left undone? What were some of the things I’d do differently?

All good questions to consider.

But this month, I want to try to focus on what has worked. What were the things I’d like to repeat?

  1. I recently got back on the 100 pushup challenge on my 40th birthday in August.
  2. At the same time, I started to limit my carbs in my diet.
  3. And finally, I started being more intentional about getting to the gym.

I share this not to be self-congratulatory. I share this because while I wasn’t perfect all year, I was able to make some small strides in August. That was only 4 months ago. I didn’t really start pursuing some of my health-related goals until we were well over halfway done with 2017!

In previous years, this would have been discouraging to the point of giving up. What’s the point? It’s almost Christmas, might as well wait until January… AGAIN.

Not this time. Don’t give up December as a chance to veg out. Use it as a ramp to leap into January.

Don’t fall for the willpower trap. The willpower trap assumes that all your motivation relies on your own inner willpower. And if you don’t have it, you can never get anything done. The willpower fallacy also assumes that if you haven’t changed up to this point, what’s the use in trying? Just wait until the next year – when you “feel” motivated enough.

That’s just stupid.

Start now.

Start where you are.

It’s now December 2017. What small win can you get before the year is over? Don’t wait for willpower. Don’t wait for divine inspiration.

  1. Set a small goal.
  2. Tell somebody.
  3. And then do it. Even if you feel like you can’t. Even if you fail. Just do.

Use *that* as additional motivation to ramp up 2018.

 

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