Why is that some days we can keep to good habits, such as exercise and eating healthy, while on other days we sit on the couch all night and eat cookies? It seems that our willpower varies from day to day, if not hour to hour. Therefore, how can we avoid falling to temptations and keep to our intentions?
Recently, Darious Foroux wrote an article that explored the idea of strategic willpower and how it can enable us to keep to our intentions. He put the problem very succinctly:
The thing about staying consistent is that life always finds a way to get in the way, no matter what you’re trying to achieve. So we’re better off expecting that things can always go wrong.
Foroux goes on to share studies that appear to demonstrate that our willpower can fade when we are forced to expend it. He then explores how stay true to our intentions even when tired or emotional.
To live a good life, every single one of us needs to know how our willpower works. Do you find it difficult to make decisions late at night? Avoid it!
Finally, he sums up the topic as such:
To simplify, willpower is your ability to follow through on all your little and big goals. If you say you’re going to stop eating junk food and you eat a muffin for breakfast, there’s something wrong.
It’s up to you to figure out what the problem is. Strategic willpower means we’re aware of this concept. We don’t go through life like a mindless robot. We take the time to look at our actions and we do things when we’re at our best.