Having the Will Doesn’t Mean Having the Way
- February 15th, 2019
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In our last newsletter, we talked about self-love and the crucial distinction between self-care and self-indulgence. We quoted personal development expert Kate Siner when she defined self-care as “an activity that strengthens, nourishes, or develops who we are at our core.”
Of course, making the shift from doing things that merely indulge us to doing things that actually nourish us takes effort and, well, discipline. After all, when you’ve had a terrible day, it’s far more tempting to binge on Netflix rather than go for a yoga class.
The key is to handle this transition with intelligence rather than willpower. Studies indicate that willpower—just like muscle tissue—gets fatigued with overuse. So if you’re using the power of your determination alone to make a behavioral change, the chances of failure are pretty high.
So how do you engineer these changes intelligently? Here’s a suggestion: Instead of relying on willpower, try habit power. Habits are behaviors that we do so regularly and repeatedly that their performance requires barely any thought and effort on our part. This absence of required “exertion” means that we don’t really need any willpower to perform a habit. To give an example, when was the last time you agonized over having to brush your teeth???
So if you’re keen on making the shift from self-indulgence to self-care relatively seamless, use habit power rather than willpower.
May your transition be marked by ease and grace!
P.S. If you’re not clear on how exactly to build new habits, just click here!
Photo courtesy of Kobu Agency.