Happy: is a new category of posts for this is life in austin & aspen. As I’ve developed DailyHap.com, which I encourage you all to visit daily, I’ve come across mountains of research, blog posts, articles, supportive pictures, and so on that can help lead to happiness but are not “filed” under that category. Here, I’ll react and discuss these gems, as well as talk more about my own experiences with the lessons presented. Hope you enjoy it; let me know what you think!
One of the most important things for leading a healthy, and thus happy, life is willpower. Willpower keeps us from subsisting on a diet of doughnuts and reality tv when we logically know we should be eating kale and reading Proust*. But some research suggests that you have a finite “bank” of willpower each day, so the more you use it, the more you lose it. This would suggest that you need to build systems and habits to prevent those willpower-sucking scenarios and save your reserves for the really tough situations.
The folks at Whole 9 Life discuss changing your habits here. They’ve got great tips and insight on the research. Personally, I don’t keep any junk food in my house, because I KNOW I’ll eat it if it’s there. That’s easy enough. But what about the other things that require willpower? As first a freelance writer and now self-funding my startup, I have no one to answer to, except my clients or you guys. I can wake up, post something, and go back to bed for hours. I can work out, ski, run, hike, do laundry—whatever distracts me from working without consequence. It sounds awesome, and IT IS. But I spend freely from my willpower bank to DO WORK, which people who have to be at an office from 9-5 do not (then again, I don’t have office birthday cake to fend off, so there’s that).
What I need to do with my willpower is make DOING WORK non-negotiable. Take the possibility out of working 9-5 like I took the junk food out of my cabinets. Then I have more willpower in my bank for food, distractions, workouts, and so on. I will always keep a flexible schedule, but you’ve got to have a schedule at all for it to be flexible.
What systems do you guys need to put into place to give yourself a willpower cushion?
*or at least reading at all. Chick-lit counts.