top of page

The truth about willpower (not what you think)

A lot of people ask me about willpower because they think they don’t have enough of it.

Here’s what’s wild about that: it turns out, the fact that they think they don’t have enough willpower might be why they don’t have enough.

Say what?

Back in the 1990s, scientists came up with a theory called “ego depletion,” which basically says that willpower is a limited resource.

And, if you’re tired, stressed, or have made a ton of decisions during the day, you’re more likely to run out of it.

Which sets you up for skipping your planned workouts, ordering takeout instead of eating a healthy home-cooked meal, etc.

BUT… new research suggests that ego depletion may only apply if you believe in it.

So, if you believe you will run out of willpower, you probably WILL.


But this is actually really good news.

It means you can take back control (and personal responsibility!) over your actions — and stop “relying” on willpower!

One way to do that: the next time you feel like you don’t have willpower, go into PROBLEM-SOLVING MODE.

Ask yourself: Why do you feel like your willpower is slipping?

  • Is it a schedule problem?

  • A planning problem?

  • Are your expectations too high, too soon?

  • Are you tired?

  • Are you stressed or upset?

Here’s a real-life example from my own life. I noticed that every Tuesday night, I was feeling extra-tempted to order out instead of eating at home.

After I did some thinking about it, I realized what the problem was: Tuesday was the day my wife and I work the longest days.

The solution: Set aside a little time on Monday to create a plan. Either a recipe or put my teenagers in charge of making dinner.

Nothing is more motivating than feeling like you’re making solid progress — and the way to keep moving forward is to keep solving those problems!

0 views0 comments


bottom of page