Personal Project, Willpower

The Willpower Instinct Project – Week 2

McGonigal, Kelly - The Willpower InstinctWhat a surprise, only two weeks in and I’m already starting to lose the willpower to follow through with this project (and no the irony is not lost on me). I’m not sure if I’m struggling already because the first two weeks require passive activities or if dragging out the process of reading one book chapter-by-chapter over ten weeks is starting to get to me. Perhaps this is just the time of the year it is, but regardless, I hope it picks up after this week!

In Chapter Two: Your Body Was Born to Resist Cheesecake McGonigal asks her readers to do two things: 1) spend five minutes doing breathing exercises, reducing your breaths down to approximately three-to-four a minute (10 seconds breathing in; 10 seconds breathing out); and 2) spend five minutes practicing relaxation, so allowing your body to completely relax and not move, I guess this is different from the meditation in Week 2. On top of these two activities she recommends getting five minutes of outdoor time every day (easy peasy) and getting a good night’s sleep.

Where I struggled this week was with the relaxation portion. I wasn’t sure if I needed to continue doing the five minutes meditation, so I kept doing it, and then added the additional ten minutes of breathing and relaxation, thus bumping up to 15 minutes. Now 15 minutes, isn’t a lot in the scheme of things and I know that it’s only going to help, but for some reason it seems like a big hurdle. I’m definitely going to stick with it and we’ll see where this week goes.

As I mentioned, I feel like I’m starting to struggle because so far we’re only observing and laying the groundwork for overcoming our challenges. I have taken a little peek ahead for week three and there is at least some “doing” this week and not just “planning”. I’m starting to wonder if I should have done a quick read through the entire book and then planned this project, but that’s part of what this project is about, the exploration of the unknown.

Next up, Chapter Three: Too Tired to Resist: Why Self-Control Is Like a Muscle.

Check out my previous weeks’ posts below:


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