You know what the difference is between good habits and bad ones? Good habits, you have to work at.
In other words, they require discipline, which means willpower. In a recent post at the SharpBrains blog, Daniel Goleman offers good news and bad news about willpower.
The bad news is that research suggests we have a fixed amount of it. Apply it to one challenge, and you have less available for the next.
This may explain why a (reasonably) vigorous workout for me is often followed, some hours later, by a fuller meal than I might actually need.
The good news, says Goleman, is that we can increase that reservoir of willpower. He compares it to a muscle, which gets stronger with exercise.
(If you like Goleman’s post, you’ll probably like Sharon Begley’s book Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain. As I noted here some time ago, the title sounds like a self-help nostrum, but Begley in fact assembles and makes clear a wealth of research-based understanding about the brain.)
CC-licensed daily-discipline photo by blue out.