Is It Possible to Increase Willpower and Change Habits?

Changing our behavior and habits is not easy. But whether it's exercising more, eating healthier, or taking concrete steps towards other health goals, improving our ability to change can be a major factor in promoting health and preventing illness. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It is a fascinating and instructive book by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. that helps us understand the biology, mental traps, and social factors that influence our self-control. A health psychologist and Stanford instructor, Dr. McGonigal teaches that self-control is like a muscle that can be exercised and that self-criticism, guilt, and stress can lead to giving in and loss of self-control.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. He describes that the basic structure of all habits involves a cue, a routine, and a reward. When we first start a new behavior, significant effort and concentration is often needed and this effort can be difficult to sustain if we do not harness the power of habit. By understanding how habits work and how new habits can be created, we can shift new healthy behaviors to auto-pilot so that they become automatic and do not require high levels of continual effort.


Our physicians at Live Well Family Medicine look forward to working with you to achieve your health goals in 2018!