Defining Willpower.
May 10, 2013, 3:14 am
Filed under: Art, Behavior, Brain, Mind, Motivation, Organization, Poetry, Spirit, Writing

treeSome of my sketchpad doodles.

If you could pick one from the tree and keep it for yourself, what would you pick?

This week I’m practicing greater self-control.

Controlling what I put into my body (healthy foods.) I’m falling in love with my juicer and hope to be sharing some sweet drink recipes soon (sans alcohol!) on my blog.

Juicing is not only a great way to cleanse, restore and nourish the body, but it’s also a great short-cut and on-the-run energy boost that can simplify your life (make extra and store it in the fridge!)

Behavioral and psychological research tells us that the best way to keep and nurture self-control is to set long-term goals and then monitor your daily behavior and progress in reaching those goals. Willpower is needed on the journey to the goal – this is the effort you put forth in order to resist daily temptations in order to achieve positive outcomes in the future.

But one of the most important things you have to do before practicing self-control and fostering willpower is to ask what your motivation is.

Identify your driving force.

Why are you working toward that goal?

What does it mean for you and your family and what are the implications on your life?

Defining Willpower

We have many common names for willpower: determination, drive, resolve, self-discipline, self-control. But psychologists characterize willpower, or self-control, in more specific ways. According to most psychological scientists, willpower can be defined as:

  • the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals
  • the capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse
  • the ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system
  • conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self
  • a limited resource capable of being depleted.

(Source: American Psychological Association

Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 16: 31-33



6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

love the blog!

Comment by philip469

Thanks, Phil! Glad you found it.

Comment by simplyenjoy

Reblogged this on Spontaneous Creativity.

Comment by dulzimordash

Yes like not eating that doughnut before bed.

Comment by John

Yes, those are sneaky little temptations (doughnuts) that add up to become obstacles in your long term goal (losing weight, having increased energy for your tasks.) So in your moments of strength – while eating a delicious salad, maybe – or playing with your grandkids – in a moment when you’re feeling great – ask God to help you remember that feeling and to give you strength next time you’re feeling a moment of weakness or temptation. When we foster strength during our best times, it helps us to choose more wisely when we’re faced with less than ideal choices.

Comment by simplyenjoy

[…] This post on defining willpower was helpful in thinking about self-control and temptation.  Defining Willpower  […]

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