The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal Book Summary

The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal | Free Book Summary

The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal

 Progress can be motivating, and even inspire future self-control, but only if you view your actions as evidence that you are committed to your goal. If you try to control and change too many things at once, you may exhaust yourself completely.

I Will, I Won’t, I Want: What Willpower Is, and Why It Matters

Giving a name to the impulsive/negative version of your mind will make it easier to identify your detrimental habits as soon as you engage in them. You can then call on the wiser version of your mind and correct those habits so you can achieve your goal and be productive.

To say no when you need to say no, and yes when you need to say yes, you need a third power: the ability to remember what you really want.

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The Willpower Instinct: Your Body Was Born to Resist Cheesecake

When you are chronically stressed, your body continues to divert energy from long-term needs such as digestion, reproduction, healing injuries, and fighting off illnesses to respond to the constant stream of apparent emergencies.

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Stress will cloud your mind and keep you from being productive. However, if you help rejuvenate your mind and body, you can get into the right mindset to do what you need to do.

Too Tired To Resist: Why Self-Control Is Like a Muscle

All day long, we use self-control for many things. For example, getting out of bed the first time the alarm rings instead of hitting the snooze button, skipping dessert at lunch, choosing which brand of detergent to buy from the store—we have to use our self-control for all of these things! It’s no wonder that we feel exhausted at the end of the day.

License to Sin: Why Being Good Gives Us Permission To Be Bad

Rewards and punishments can help us stay on track with our goals, but they can also distract us from them. If rewarding or punishing yourself for certain behaviors causes you to forget what your actual goal is, or it causes you to indulge in bad behaviours as a “reward,” it’s time to stop doing that and remind yourself to stay on track.

Focus less on rewards and more on the goal you are trying to achieve.

We may think that guilt motivates us to correct our mistakes, but it’s just one more way that feeling bad leads to giving in.

What the Hell: How Feeling Bad Leads to Giving In

Forgiving yourself for your failures is a step-by-step process. 

  • The first step will help you acknowledge what you are feeling, instead of running away from it. 
  • The second step will help you gain a healthy perspective on failure and remove the voices of unhealthy self-criticism.
  • The third and final step will help you comfort yourself, so you can be up and ready to face another day.

Putting the Future on Sale

We’ve all been tempted to do something that is counter productive to our goals. For example, if you are on a strict diet, you might feel tempted to eat a burger. The good news is that this temptation can be fought! All you need to do is put some distance between yourself and temptation.

Infected! Why Is Willpower Contagious?

Willpower failures might be contagious, but you can also catch self-control.

It is very easy to fall back into old, negative habits when we are around others indulging in the same ones. Reminding yourself of your goals, and surrounding yourself with others who share your commitment to your goals, will keep you on track.

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