Friday, 21 October 2011

Will Power is Overrated!


Will-power/motivation is not the only key to changing a habit. It can help you decide to take action but it’s the actions you take that are the keys to change. Stop blaming yourself and stop making motivation an excuse.

Commonly said things about failure to change

I lack motivation! Where's my motivation - I don't have any! I'm pathetic! I said that I’d change but I don’t have the guts! I'm too weak! I don’t have it within me to change! I'm spineless!

As a society we seem to have an obsession with will-power, especially our lack of it and we end up staying with bad habits because many of us think we are too weak to change. Where does this obsession come from? Our parents, the boss, the wife, education? Who knows?

But all I know is that will-power is naturally a wibbly-wobbly thing.

Take will-power to moderate your drinking

• Stinking hangover – your will-power is probably 10/10 (a lot of people promise they will quit at this point)
• The worst of the hangover goes away – will-power goes down perhaps 7/10
• Someone calls you a day later. They want to meet-up for some drinks. It’s always fun with this person. Will-power goes down again 5/10
• You read about the damage heavy drinking does your body – will-power goes up 6/10
• You see a funny ad for drinks. It makes you smile – will-power goes down 5/10
• You’re excited about seeing your friend. Will-power goes down 2/10

When you need your will-power the most

It’s usually not there. Many people look forward to drinking, mainly because it’s associated with many enjoyable things – socialising, friends, laugher, going out, relaxing, after work activity etc.

It’s hard to even to think about ‘moderation’ when there’s so much to look forward to. Apparently, your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time and there’s little chance that will happen if your mind is abuzz.

So stop blaming yourself and stop making ‘will-power’ the be all of habit-change. It’s not.

Next Post

I’ll introduce a Habit-Change model by BJ Fogg that has made it easy for me to moderate my drinking. In his model, motivation is only one of three tools that we can use to change a habit.

1 comment:

  1. I read, enjoy and learn from your blog. Thanks! Keep on posting.