3 Ideas for Building Willpower

Do you ever struggle with willpower? Or feel like you don’t have any self-control in certain areas, like around sweets? I’ve certainly been through this, and so has almost everyone I talk to. It’s often with food, but not always. Maybe it’s spending, smoking, drinking coffee, or any number of other things. That’s why I was interested to discover the book The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal. The book is fascinating, so you’ll likely see a few blog posts about it. But to start, let’s look at what willpower is, and some things you can do to strengthen it. 3 components of willpower It helps to understand how McG

Reflections on Endings as Beginnings

Easter, like Christmas, is a rather odd mish-mash of a holiday. It’s got secular parts that the kids love, it’s important to people who believe in Jesus, and it’s meaningful in earth-based traditions. And apart from the candy, it all seems to center around something I’ve been thinking a lot about. How endings can also be beginnings. I don’t think I paid much attention to this aspect growing up. I was more into the bunnies and chocolate, especially in the years when we had real rabbits. But it’s also largely escaped my notice in recent years, I think because we’re often taught to shy away from endings. We may try to avoid them, and I know I’ve been in denial about times when something really

Is it Concern or Criticism?

Do you ever feel like someone’s concern for you is really thinly veiled criticism? As in, “I’m concerned about your weight” or “I’m worried about your eating habits”? Or it might not even be veiled at all – some people are pretty direct about these things. But either way, I’ve never found this type of approach to be helpful. If anything, it just makes me dig in my heels on the issue. I got this type of critical concern a lot when I was younger, but I didn’t realize until recently how else this has impacted me. I’ve discovered that these days, when someone expresses concern for me, more often than not my immediate response is to be defensive. Even if it’s not anything to be defensive about. I

3 Tips to Help Jump-Start New Habits

Note: This is the final post in a series of blogs I’ve been doing about adopting a more positive mindset. You can find the others in my list of blog posts. I’ve written a lot this year about ways to develop a more positive mindset. But all of that only helps if you actually establish new habits. And we all know that simply saying, “I’m going to do that!” doesn’t work. Why is that? And what can you do that’s more effective when starting new habits? Why it’s hard to form new habits As Shawn Achor points out in The Happiness Advantage, “Common sense is not common action…. [The] action to follow through on what we know is often the hardest part.” (p. 145-146) The truth of this is all around us.

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