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The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on sticking to resolutions

The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on sticking to resolutions
It’s the second week in January and, at about this time, that resolution that seemed so reasonable a week ago — go to the gym every other day, read a book a week, only drink alcohol on weekends — is starting to seem very … hard. As you are teetering on the edge of abandoning it all together, Kelly McGonigal is here to help. This Stanford University psychologist — who shared last year how you can make stress your friend — wants you to know that you’re not having a hard time sticking to a resolution because you are a terrible person. McGonigal has, for years, taught a course called “The Science of Willpower” through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program and, in 2011, she spun it into a book, The Willpower Instinct. First question: why is willpower such a struggle? It’s a great question. The reason that so many things can trigger that kind of conflict is because that’s the essence of human nature. I think it depends on how you go about making your New Year’s resolution. Yes! Yes. Related:  Self-Control through Enhanced WillpowerHabit Change

The Science of Self-Control: 6 Ways to Improve Your Willpower One of the key parts of our culture at Buffer is a focus on self-improvement. We each pick an area to improve on each week and share our daily progress and challenges, making it a social, supportive way to adjust, create or change our habits. There’s still a lot of work to be done for self-improvement to be effective, though. I’ve been through a bunch of different improvement focuses in the last few months, including positivity, running, reading more and learning French. Each one has been fun to focus on, but it’s hard to keep more than one new habit going at a time—partly because it takes so much willpower. What willpower is and how it works in the brain Kelly McGonigal, PhD and author of The Willpower Instinct says willpower is a response that comes from both the brain and the body. The willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. To be effective at controlling our urges and making sound decisions, the prefontal cortex needs to be looked after. How to increase your willpower

Chômage : comment rebondir, comment retrouver du travail, comment changer de vie © Jupiter Et si le chômage était l’occasion d’une reconquête, non seulement d’un emploi, mais aussi de soi ? D’une renaissance ? Car il est possible de transformer cette épreuve en opportunité : celle de se retrouver et pourquoi pas, de changer sa vie, en surmontant les peurs qui nous empêchent d'avancer. La coach Hélène Picot bouscule les idées reçues et nous donne ses conseils. Margaux Rambert Considérer le chômage comme une opportunité Choc de perdre son emploi, inquiétude pour l’avenir, perte d’une part de son identité… Se retrouver au chômage est une épreuve, une source de stress considérable. « Le discours très anxiogène véhiculé autour de la question du chômage empêche les gens de rebondir par eux-mêmes, estime Hélène Picot, coach et auteure de Sans emploi ? Le conseil d’Hélène Picot : « Un chômeur n’est pas un paria. Ne pas se poser en victime « Pourquoi moi ?

How Long It Takes to Form a New Habit by Maria Popova Why magic numbers always require a grain of empirical salt. “We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle proclaimed. “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state,” William James wrote. But how, exactly, do we rewire our habits once they have congealed into daily routines? We already know that it takes more than “willpower.” When he became interested in how long it takes for us to form or change a habit, psychologist Jeremy Dean found himself bombarded with the same magic answer from popular psychology websites and advice columns: 21 days. In a study carried out at University College London, 96 participants were asked to choose an everyday behavior that they wanted to turn into a habit. This notion of acting without thinking — known in science as “automaticity” — turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, to be a central driver of habits. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

4 scientific studies on how meditation can affect your heart and brain Many people have tried to sell me on the idea of meditating. Sometimes I try it, and have an incredible, refreshing experience. But usually, as I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, while I know that I’m supposed to be letting all thoughts go, more and more fly through my mind. Soon I have a laundry-list of “to-dos” in my head … and then my legs fall asleep. Today’s TED Talk, however, might actually convince me to give meditation another shot. “We live in an incredibly busy world. In this talk, Puddicombe — who is as equally as turned off by incense as me — shares the fascinating story of how he become a monk, and gives a convincing argument for why it is worth it to take 10 minutes a day to refresh the mind. “Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it’s much different than that,” says Puddicombe. To see a demonstration, with juggling, watch this surprising talk.

7 Ways You Can Easily Increase Your Willpower In general, people have an overly positive vision of themselves and their abilities. But what’s the one thing surveys show most everyone will admit they have a problem with? Self-control. And who is most likely to give in to temptation? Ironically, it’s the people who think they have the most willpower. Via The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It: Research shows that people who think they have the most willpower are actually the most likely to lose control when tempted. So how can we really increase willpower? I’ve posted a lot about the subject — from research to interviewing the foremost expert on the subject. Here are 7 ways you can increase your own willpower and live a better life: 1) “Keystone” Habits Are A Magic Bullet Everyone wants a magic bullet. The primary one is exercise. It also makes you eat better. Exercise leads people to create other, often unrelated, good habits: Going to the gym is too much for you? At night.

Six Willpower Hacks Some of the most rewarding and exhilarating times in life are when you achieve something you set out to do, right? You feel on top of the world! The opposite is also true: some of the most testing and depressing times in life are when you really want to have or do something, but you can’t muster up the willpower in that moment to do what you want. What is willpower anyway, and what makes you have more or less of it? If you have ever thought that you don’t have willpower, the good news is that you were wrong. Here are the top six willpower hacks to help you achieve your goals. 1. Studies have shown that exerting your willpower reduces your energy and blood glucose levels. So, the better the food that you eat, the more willpower you will feel. 2. You already know that willpower gets depleted the more you need to practice self-control. If you want to strengthen your willpower muscle, start planning ahead more often and try to decrease the number of decisions you make on a daily basis. 3.

7 Techniques d’Orateur Efficace (et Intéressant… pour Changer) C’est la troisième fois que je me prête à l’exercice et même si je dois avouer que j’ai toujours le trac, j’ai développé quelques petites techniques d’orateur qui pourront vous aider lors de votre prochain séminaire ou prochaine conférence. Pour cette troisième édition, nous allons nous focaliser sur la motivation et j’ai donc appelé cette conférence : alors heureux(se) ? (De vous lever le matin ?). En passant si vous êtes libre ce jeudi 6 décembre 15h, vous pouvez vous inscrire pour y participer ici, et c’est gratuit ! Durant 30 minutes je vais parler de ma vision de la motivation dans le cadre professionnel bien sûr, mais aussi dans un cadre perso. Comment présenter ses idées de manière efficace et intéressante ? 1. Pour mon séminaire de Jeudi, j’ai ressorti 5 livres que j’avais adorés sur le sujet. 2. Voici mes objectifs : Vous l’aurez compris, j’insiste sur la fluidité ! 3. Pour ma part il s’agit d’un public de managers plus ou moins haut dans la hiérarchie de leur boite. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives By Maria Popova “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…” Far from Pollyanna platitude, this advice actually reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (public library) — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives. One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality.

Triumph of the Willpower Are you an impulsive marshmallow eater? Your success—or failure—in life may depend on how you answer that question, says New York Times science writer John Tierney. He is the co-author, with Roy F. Baumeister, of the new book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (Penguin).... Willpower: Self-control, decision fatigue and energy - Think and be Happy Earlier this week I mustered enough willpower to climb out of my warm bed when the alarm went off at 5.30, squeeze into some lycra and walk to the gym in time for a combat class that started at six. Not only that, I managed all day to stick to my aspiration to not eat any sugar, and to meditate for 20 minutes before I went to bed. But the following day was a disaster. I didn’t go to yoga as planned, I ate a cronut, and despite my best intentions, skipped that evening’s meditation. I’m sharing all this with you in light of this presentation about willpower by Professor Roy Baumeister, a respected social psychologist specialising in self-control, self-regulation, meaning and happiness, and author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Not that any of this will be a revelation to most of us. In other words, it’s possible I slept in and scoffed down that cronut the other day because the day before I successfully resisted these temptations.

Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence - Rosabeth Moss Kanter by Rosabeth Moss Kanter | 10:00 AM January 3, 2014 To get a more confident You in the new year — or a more confident company, community, family, or team — first know what gets in the way. The best resolutions will go nowhere without the confidence to stick with them. Confidence is an expectation of a positive outcome. It is not a personality trait; it is an assessment of a situation that sparks motivation. To muster the confidence to work toward your goals, avoid these eight traps: Self-defeating assumptions. Goals that are too big or too distant. Declaring victory too soon. Do-it-yourself-ing. Blaming someone else. Defensiveness. Neglecting to anticipate setbacks. Over-confidence. Remember, it’s not enough just to feel confident.

William James on Habit by Maria Popova “We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar.” “We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle famously proclaimed. “Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Perhaps most fascinating in Michael Lewis’s altogether fantastic recent Vanity Fair profile of Barack Obama is, indeed, the President’s relationship with habit — particularly his optimization of everyday behaviors to such a degree that they require as little cognitive load as possible, allowing him to better focus on the important decisions, the stuff of excellence. I found this interesting not merely out of solipsism, as it somehow validated my having had the same breakfast day in and day out for nearly a decade (steel-cut oats, fat-free Greek yogurt, whey protein powder, seasonal fruit), but also because it isn’t a novel idea at all. He proceeds to offer three maxims for the successful formation of new habits:

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? Case 1 (heard at 8:50 a.m.): An Arab Israeli serving a 30-month sentence for fraud. Case 2 (heard at 3:10 p.m.): A Jewish Israeli serving a 16-month sentence for assault. Case 3 (heard at 4:25 p.m.): An Arab Israeli serving a 30-month sentence for fraud. There was a pattern to the parole board’s decisions, but it wasn’t related to the men’s ethnic backgrounds, crimes or sentences. The odds favored the prisoner who appeared at 8:50 a.m. — and he did in fact receive parole. There was nothing malicious or even unusual about the judges’ behavior, which was reported earlier this year by Jonathan Levav of Stanford and Shai Danziger of Ben-Gurion University. Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. These experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. 1. 2.

9 Ways to Harness Your Willpower “Lose Weight Without Willpower!”“Willpower Can’t Help You Change! This Can.”“Quit Smoking! No Willpower Needed!” You may have seen ads like this, trumpeting methods of changing a habit that require absolutely no willpower whatsoever. To answer this question, we first have to ask, “What is willpower?” bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock I define willpower as “using only the thought of your motivators to control your actions.” So, amazingly enough, willpower begins with a thought—a bright idea—some way to improve your life or contribute to others. Your Bright Idea What sort of bright ideas—motivators--make for effective willpower? If your bright idea is to avoid skin cancer and wrinkles, you could wear sunscreen.If your bright idea is to ensure a better future for your family, you could put 10% of your paycheck into a retirement account.If your bright idea is to be a good role model for your child, you could quit smoking. Change Without Willpower? StressDecision fatigueTemptationSelf-criticism 9.

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