Willpower and Habit

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about willpower and habit lately. Partly, I suppose, this has been prompted by my reflecting on habit with my students, but it’s more than that.

I wonder if I have less willpower than other people, and maybe have simply been ‘programmed’ with decent habits by my parents. I know I have less willpower than I’d like to have.

One thing that bothers me is that I don’t know that I’ve ever really exercised to the point of muscle failure. At least, I can’t recall it. I feel like I exercise to the point of will failure.

And that’s something to work on.

But, recently, I’ve tried to make simple changes to my life: stop snacking in the evening, try fasting, stick to an exercise routine.

You know where this is going: I do great for a while, but then I cave. What bothers me, is that I know I’m going to regret giving in to whatever urge-of-the-moment I have when I do it, and I still do it.

I don’t regret changing my mind, like I did yesterday when I was planning on fasting until dinner and someone I genuinely like asked me to have a piece of his birthday cake. That’s a simple question of priorities: he was more important to me than the fast. But, I do regret the times that I know I’ll be upset if I grab a snack, and I do it anyway.

Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I’d like to develop to a point where I decide for myself who I am, rather than feeling  like a bag of chemicals that basically does whatever the urge-of-the-moment is.

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