A simple way to strengthen willpower


“Sit up straight!” Remember that old advice from Mom? As it turns out, her edict may do more than facilitate good dining etiquette.

It may help you achieve your goals.

Psychologist and renown willpower research pioneer Roy Baumeister, in his NY Times bestselling book Willpower:Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (read my review), points out that willpower—the thing we rely upon to press through on our goals—is like a muscle. It can be strengthened. And it’s surprisingly easy to do so…by sitting up straight.

In one study, students were asked to work on improving their posture over a two week period. Those that did showed significantly improved results in standard self-control tests. They were also more proficient in other tasks they were assigned by researchers to complete.

It turns out that willpower can be strengthened by alterations in nearly any habitual behavior. Buameister suggests the simple act of brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or changing speech habits such as saying “yes” instead of “yeah” can will strengthen willpower.

I for one, am reminded every time I’m with my dance coach to stand a little taller. I hadn’t realized until reading Willpower that she, like Mom, was helping me in other areas too.

Comment below: What habits might you switch up to give your willpower the boost it needs?

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