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Flashcards in Willpower 101 Deck (16):

The Goal

“Who you would be, what type of life would you have, if you were the type of person who could do what you needed to do, when you needed to do it, whether you felt like it or not.”


The Engine

Willpower/self-control is the master attribute

Willpower is the engine that takes us from theory to practice

Self-control is teachable


Future Self

Think about my future self

Who do you want to be in 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 weeks, 10 months, 10 years?

Those with willpower have a positive picture of their future self

Is the future me going to thank me for my choices now?


Finite and Infinite

Willpower is both

Willpower fatigues, its limited

Willpower can be strengthened


Playing offense vs. defense

Don’t just use willpower defensively – I won’t eat that if tempted

Construct your life so that temptations don’t arise – play offense

Structure life accordingly

Be proactive, build systems, habits that makes your life easier

Buy your willpower at the grocery store



Pre-commit your future self to action, now

Have systems in our lives (if-than intentions)

If I wake up, I’m going to exercise….etc.

Recognize the price you are going to pay and pre-commit to pay it


Breath, Pause & Plan, Act

Control your impulses

Breathing is #1 tool to control impulses, boost willpower

Take a deep breath

Slow down via your breath, think about your longer term goals

Get out of flight or fight so you can pause and plan, act in integrity with your values

Breath, pause, plan consistent with your core values


Effective Stress Release Strategies

Higher stress = lower willpower

Effective stress release strategies (releases serotonin):
- Meditation, Exercise, Walking, Family, Relaxing
music, Petting a dog

Ineffective stress release (releases dopamine):
- Internet, TV, Drinking, Eating, Gambling/gaming


Eat, Move, Sleep, Focus

How we keep willpower engine finely tuned

Low blood sugar, low willpower

Feed the engine via healthy diet

Eat low glycemic foods

Moving/exercise provides immediate benefit for willpower

Use willpower to get a better night sleep – offensive strategy

Tired = lower willpower

Focus = meditation; anaerobic (strength) training for focus


Tiny + Tidy + 2 Minutes + To Completion

Willpower is a muscle

Tiny things (e.g., don’t swear) repeatedly done strengthen willpower

Tiny little habits have a powerful impact on positive habits

Tidy. Clean environment = higher willpower

Messy creates distractions, depletes willpower

If it can be done in 2 minutes, do it. Powerful impact on willpower (and time management)

Too completion. When you start something, finish!

Habit of starting and finishing things (don’t snatch that one marshmallow)

Finish what you start!


Live stream, game vs. shame

Shame does not help

We are not trying to be perfect

Shaming doesn’t work

We need high standards and high warmth

Make it a game, don’t make it about being perfect

Try to get a little better and celebrate those wins (and then repeat)

Make it a game, get out of shame

Let your ideal self blossom


Your Attitude Matters

If you think doing hard things depletes your energy and willpower, it does

If you think it energizes you, it does


Have a strong WHY!

SMART goals

Write down brief description of your ideal self; what are the positive things will you experience?

Live in more integrity with your values



Kids with impulse control outperformed kids with lower impulse control – delay gratification

Kids that could delay gratification, cooled their impulses and heated their long-term vision of our ideal self



Willpower out predicts IQ for academic performance X2


Bright Lines

Create bright lines for the things you want to change in your life.

Bright lines! Not fuzzy lines!

if you are not going to eat flour based products, it must be 100%

When you have a pre-commitment and bright lines, you are not constantly negotiating with yourself