My Will Power vs My Won’t Power

I admit it –  My will power is puny.  The more I try to eat healthy foods the more I scarf down sugar laden carbs.  About 3-4 days is my limit for exerting will power.  Finally!  Research has confirmed I’m normal (sort of).

It turns out that everyone has will power, but only a limited amount to use each day. 

Research shows that just the act of resisting temptation wears out will power and we are more likely to lose the ability to discipline ourselves later. This includes not only stopping oneself from dong something unhealthy or unhelpful, but also depletes the ability to concentrate on doing something you want to do.

Rather than depend on will power, it is easier to put ourselves in situations where little or no will power is needed: Easier not to buy ice cream, than to have it at home and not eat it;   Easier to put a loud alarm clock far from bed so you have to get up than to have the snooze button next to the bed that you can tap (over and over) with your eyes shut and your head on the pillow. 

Reference:  Switch, How to change Things When Change is Hard Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Maui’s “Mini-Tail” of Will Power

Scratch by Peggy

by Peggy

There it sat, in the middle of Maui’s path, taunting him with texture. Maui knew his human would be upset if he scratched this BIG, TEMPTING scratching post called couch.  

” Don’t scratch the couch.  Don’t scratch the couch.  Don’t scratch the couch” 

He had lost count of how many times he heard this.  But every time he passed by that couch, his brain remembered how great the rough fabric felt and directed his claws to come out, longing for a manicure. 

Did Maui scratch?  Yup.  Just like humans, the stress of resisting continual temptation wore out his will power.  I can’t blame him.  Maui can’t remove the couch, he can’t go outside where he would be free to scratch whatever and where ever he wanted . . .

. . . unlike me who could throw out all the junk food and not buy anymore . . . if I had the will power . . .





10 comments on “My Will Power vs My Won’t Power

  1. Did you write this article with me in mind? I don’t have any trouble waking up, with or without the alarm. But the gahr-bahgze I shove down my throat – oy yoy yoy. One could stock the soccer field snack shed if I would just leave it all behind. And then one (THIS one specifically) would not be so hesitant to stand on a scale and look down. I have a limited amount of will power and it gets to be less and less every day.


    • It does seem like we don’t have enough will power to stop doing certain things, or get ourselves to do others. My lesson was, if the temptation is always there, you are likely to give in toit-so how can you remove it????? Not always easy. Glad you wake up easily 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My sugar addiction is fed with my daily Brookside dark chocolate blueberries. My willpower is tested every evening, & each time I visit Costco picking up another month’s supply. I have not devoted the ‘won’t power’ but working on it constantly.

    Sent from my iPhone Linda



    • Work is right! Change takes work-in a future post we will discuss why that is, and how the brain want to keep doing what it has been doing. That, plus limits on will power, make it a struggle.


  3. I bought a 20 oz bag of bark thins (dark chocolate with almonds) from Costco some weeks ago. It was on sale for $5. OMG, stuffed my face with them. Love rice and pasta. I heard that sugar Iis the worst and can kill you. Trying to cut down on sugar. The word is TRYING.


    • I think sugar gives us a lift! And chocolate has PEA, something our bodies make when we are in love. I notice sometimes I want a lot of chocolate, and other times I don’t -but I am not sure if it lines up with wanting to feel loved, or if I wanted more when I wasn’t dating someone. Note-cheese has more PEA than chocolate. At any rate, chocolate is supposed to be good for yo, but not the sugar part!


  4. I heard that we are not addicted to sugar. We are addicted to the habit —– we grab a cupcake when we are happy, grab a carton of ice cream when we are sad, when we feel stressed out.


    • I think sugar does give you energy, and thus a lift. I do wonder if some things that look lie addictions are habits. I know when I was married for a while we had dessert after dinner. We got used to it and wanted it. For some reason we stopped, and after a while we didn’t miss it!


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