My word of the year is willpower, and it’s a perfect word for me. I love reading about how the brain works, so today I thought I’d share a few links to articles that has inspired me with my word. I’m also taking Ali Edward’s class One little word where each first of the month you get a new prompt of something to craft, write or think about relating to your word. I haven’t done all the exercises yet. I’m working in a A5 ring binder format, but also added some of the printables to my DIY Calendar, as a reminder:

DIY Calendar: One Little Word

I was recommended to check out The Willpower Instinct, by professor Kelly McGonigal, and it’s a favorite read of the year. Maybe I should write a review of it, it’s so yummy!? In it she writes about how the brain works, why some things are so difficult to do and others not, and in each chapter she gives you ideas to try out. She also challenges the reader to pick a small challenge, like creating a daily meditation practice, and keep at it and notice where and when it’s easy and when resistence and procrastination comes up… I love that challenge, and with the Insight Timer app, I am still at it.


Viljestyrka is willpower in Swedish. Embroidery by my mom made in January – for my word of the year 2014. Love it, thanks mom!

Interesting reads on Willpower

Why Successful Habits Are About Structure, Not Effort
The number one driver of whether a habit change is a success or not is how big the initial goal is. Everyone, if they’re consistent, will eventually achieve something massive. But the people that end up failing are the people trying to achieve overnight success…

Pumping Up the Self-Control in the Age of Temptations
NY Times writes: Willpower or the lack of it. We hear about it a lot. We can blame overeating, overspending, undersaving and the subprime mortgage mess on a failure of self-control. But is that right? Are we devoid of the inner discipline and stronger character our parents and grandparents apparently had?

The Psychology of Getting More Done (In Less Time)
From a short (3-Minute) and fun video you’ll learn: What You Need to Know About Productivity. The write: “The first thing we need to acknowledge in the pursuit of a more productive lifestyle is the mountain of evidence that suggests willpower alone will not be enough to stay productive!”

How to Create Habits That Stick
Sometimes what you think is a willpower challenge has nothing to do with willpower, but to set smaller goals and go slow. Barrie writes:

Recognize that creating a new habit is like making money. It doesnt happen overnight. You must view it as a process, with a few starts and stops, rather than something that is going to happen just because youve decided to make it happen. Creating a new habit is an endeavor with many moving parts that are sometimes out of your control, so go into it knowing that your journey may not be linear. It might zig and zag at times.

How Willpower Works: The Science of Decision Fatigue and How to Avoid Bad Decisions
James Clear, one of my favorite writer-bloggers on willpower: Why do we make unhealthy and unproductive choices even when we know we should do better? But research from Columbia University is beginning to reveal that willpower doesnt quite work that way…

Permission to Sin: How Moral Licensing Sabotages Your Long-Term Goals
99u gives you a few concrete steps supported by research used in the book The Willpower Instinct. For example: Remember that choosing certain actions is about commitment to your underlying goals, not about being good or bad.

Productivity Tips For Rough Days
From the blog Love Grows Design: Please tell me you relate to this. Wake up in the morning and instantly think about the many things you have to get done. Check email and feel incredibly overwhelmed by what is in store for the day. Sit down at desk and wonder where to even begin…

If You Stopped Relying on Motivation and Tried This Instead…
Another one from James Clear, about Twyla Tharp who wrote the aaamazingly inspiring book The Creative Habit (a book I need to re-read soon). James says: If you have trouble sticking to good habits or fall victim to bad ones, then it can be easy to assume that you simply need to learn how to get motivated or that you dont understand how willpower works…

What You Need to Know about Willpower
An introduction from a clinical perspective – interesting read indeed! Many people believe they could improve their lives if only they had more of that mysterious thing called willpower… How about you?

I’d say my word of the year has helped me grow this year so far, and it’s still with me. I had no idea how scientific and interesting reading about willpower would be, but I love this kind of stuff so much! I think that must mean it was a good fit for me.

What is your word, and how is it going? What are you doing with it?