We all know that willpower and discipline are key to make us reach our goals. And we feel ashamed of ourselves when we give up after only a few days trying. In this short story, you will discover the most powerful tool to help you boost your willpower.

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, Bella, a beautiful princess lived in a big castle surrounded by many servants. She was in love with the prince of the country nearby. One day, Bella learnt that the prince had decided to marry another princess. Bella fell into a deep depression, she could not stop crying.

She found comfort in chocolate and she started eating one tablet, then two then up to ten tablets a day.

She was gaining so much weight that it was almost impossible to recognize her. Her face was full of pimples. She could not fit in any of her dress, so she was staying in bed most of the day. 

As she was the princess no one dared to tell her to stop and her servants kept bringing her chocolate on request. At some point the princess became disgusted with herself, she really wanted to stop eating chocolate but she was so addicted to it that it was nearly impossible. She would wake up full of determination and resist the urge to eat chocolate until the afternoon but after 4 P.M. she could not fight the temptation anymore and would request chocolate again.

What neurosciences tell us about willpower

Her mother the Queen became worried about her. She was a smart woman with a degree in psychology and neurosciences and she knew that willpower and self-control are limited for all of us but even more when we are depressed or tired. Imagine you have 30 credits of willpower to start the day, each time you face a difficult task or choice, you will use one or two. And if you are already depleted (tired, sick or depressed for example), you may start the day with only 20, 10 or 5 credits. (More information on willpower by  the American Psychological Association https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower).

Therefore the Queen decided that the best was to suppress the temptation. She talked with her daughter and they decided together to put a ban on all chocolate imports. 

Make your environment work for you

The princess found it really hard at the beginning, she thought about crossing the border to get chocolate but little by little she was able to change her mind. Because chocolate was not available in her immediate environment anymore, she started doing other things. She found new friends willing to lose weight as well. They found hobbies which did not involve food like hiking. Among them, she found her new prince. They married and lived happily ever after. The End. 😉 


And you, how can you make your environment work for you? 

– If you find it hard to resist sales, avoid malls for example! It’s easier to choose once to go hiking rather than going to the mall and having to decide 1000 times not to buy something.

– If you want to lose weight, don’t keep sweets at home.

– If you buy fries each time you pass in front of a Mac Donald, change the road you take or at least walk on the other side. 

– Surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you fight temptation instead of giving in. Remember that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. If you feel your friends are not supporting you, try to find other activities where you could make more healthy friendships.

Choose now 3 things you can change in your environment to help you meet your objectives and post them in comments.