It’s just about time to leave the office for the day and you’ve got a choice to make before you step outside the door. Are you going to put your running shoes on and head straight to the gym? Or are you going to open your to-do list and be persuaded to skip the self-care because you’ve got homework to supervise, groceries to buy and a house to clean? Or maybe you’re tempted to nap? On certain days, one of these choices is going to make more sense than the others. But going to the gym, or wherever you like to move your body, requires the greatest investment of self-regulation.
How we understand willpower is shifting. Willpower is the conscious self-control we use to resist impulses. The prevailing idea in studies of willpower is that our supplies are limited and reduced by fatigue, hunger and stress. Research from the past five years has introduced some new features to this core idea.