Personal Project, Willpower

The Willpower Instinct Project – Week 7

McGonigal, Kelly - The Willpower InstinctNot sure this brings much to my project, but I needed to keep with the schedule and hold myself accountable.

This week I definitely noticed a change in my habits, but honestly I’ve hit enough road blocks I’m wondering why I’m still doing this. Thankfully, I’m a completionist and will follow through the project. This entire week focused solely on connecting our current self with our future self and finding out if we are undercutting that future self.

We were to reflect on if or how we discount future rewards, whether we’re waiting for a future self to take charge and inversely whether we’re too farsighted for our own good. I find that depending on what I’m looking at there are complete opposite answers. When it comes to money and savings, I’ve made a lot of changes recently where I’ve taken charge and am sorting things out. I do occasionally have to remind myself that it’s okay to have fun and not save every penny to pay things off, so I am too farsighted for my own good.

On the other hand I need to bring some of that “saving” to my health food decisions. For some reason I allow myself to eat what I want when I want giving the excuse that I can make up for it later, big mistake, but I’m working on it. I definitely give way too much credit to my future self for being a healthier and better eater and that needs to happen NOW rather than then because it will never happen if I don’t make the changes.

Our experiments this week included:

  • Wait ten minutes – This definitely helped when I wanted snacks this week! And even though my meal plan got thrown out the window I did reduce my snacking down significantly this week. Hopefully next week I can stick to the schedule and meetings and what not don’t mess things up.
  • Lower your discount rate – This is where we had to frame choices that would affect future goals in a way that it was giving up the best possible longterm reward. This worked great in that it pushed me over the running edge and I finally shifted to the next week in my 10k training program and I ran the longest I’ve ever run (five 10 minute intervals).
  • Precommit your future self – This with the above worked great for pushing me into the next week of my 10k plan in that I knew I had to move forward in order to actually do the race in the future.
  • Meet your future self – I’ve done this multiple times in the past, I’ve got emails that will be delivered over the next few years. I didn’t create a new one, but I might at the end of this ten week experiment.

Next week’s chapter is Chapter Eight: Infected! Why Willpower is Contagious.

Check out previous weeks’ posts below:


4 thoughts on “The Willpower Instinct Project – Week 7”

  1. Emails from your future self. Ooh that sounds a bit scary. Good work with the 10K plan – I’ve never ran that far but I did do a running program once and each week when we got the sent the schedule, husb and I both thought ‘we’ll never do that’ but we did!


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