Habits vs. Willpower

constructive time blocking Apr 18, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson


Many of us rely on willpower to actualize our biggest goals.

When we want to lose weight, we access willpower to prevent us from eating a piece of cake. 

If we want to save money, we use willpower to not click buy now on Amazon.

And when we want to wake up early, we use willpower to quickly get out of bed.

This common approach certainly seems to make sense. However, consistently relying on willpower is an exhausting, demoralizing, and failing strategy for most.

Willpower vs. Systems

Willpower is like a muscle. It needs to be consistently exercised or it can get weak.

Habits don’t require additional energy. They happen automatically.

If this, then that habits are most desirable because they require neither a lot of thought nor willpower. 

Powerful habits work together with beautiful synergy and beget excellent systems. 

If we choose to stack positive habits into systems, we will be better situated to do what we need to do each day, be prepared for a better tomorrow, and make life easier for our future selves.

Every day you are either preparing or repairing.

One sets up tomorrow for success, and the other set up today for failure. If we are repairing, we can't even get into tomorrow. At best, what we are doing is trying to fix today because of something we allowed yesterday. - John Maxwell

Systems help us avoid common pitfalls.

A habit will never procrastinate or try to talk us out of doing the work that needs to be done. Excellent habits work for us in those difficult times when we might typically be working against ourselves.

Habits always outperform willpower.



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