See also:  Contents/Links: Habits, Willpower, Discipline, Self-control.


Use this summary to help you notice where you are violating the rules about what increases reserves or engaging in what reduces reserves.  If you let yourself go, without adjusting and doing the right thing, your confidence, and thus your reserves, will go down, in a vicious spiral.  It is essential that you be aware of your reserve "balances" in your account and that you not allow wide variances.  (See Homeostasis, instead of being "off balance".)

Notice which ones of these you do and what you'd like to change to.  Note that, essentially, willpower reserve is the same as psychological energy and power.  This is the chart attached to the piece called
Willpower Reserve - read it to get the overall context of how this works and what to do about it.

Formula (duh!):

Increase increasers     +      Reduce reducers    =     Willpower that works!
                                                                          (Within human limits!)

Practicing (and doing in the moment):

   Pause and breathe slowly (which reengages the PFC)

Physical energy/power

Diet:  Eat plant-based, unprocessed foods, no junk
   food, be in good air quality,

  Quick energy/power - 5 minutes of exercise or even 1
  minute, preferably outdoors (instead of harmful or
  temporary means)

Rest, being fresh: Adequate sleep, short naps;
  accumulating extra sleep or catching up

Psychological energy

Quality time with friends and family

Participate in a religious or spiritual practice

Focus meditation (rewires brain for PFC to be in action

Power questions, as if a coach (wake up, send energy to PFC) (on a card?): 

  "How committed are you?" - set up so
  you are (simple shift in focus - as with
   other questions. "What is a good  reason
  to resist?" [What is you "why"?]
  "Do I want the consequences of ...

Setting clearer rules, standards (do zero vs. "only a few'), clearer definition - Takes energy to redecide all the time.

Avoid anything that increases stress!

Rejuvation times. 

Reward, celebrate every little positive action.

Increasing your sense of certainty, in actuality

Self-care, self-compassion

Decision power

Don't let vague feelings dictate; "stop, what would I better choose?" (See Life Dictated By Feelings)


Stress (even "slight" ones, waiting til last minute, criticizing self, trying to control others)  "Learning how to manage your sttess is one of the most important things you can do to improve your willpower." 


Pain, illness - Of course.  You'll have more illness if you deplete your psychological energy.

Physical imbalances: Blood sugar variation, incl. coffee effect, sleep deprivation; low hydration.  Dysfunctional operating = Body and mind operating out of range of homeostasis, in dysfunction, chaos physically and emotionally.

Impaired frontal lobe functioning, via affectors.

Disempowering conversation

"I can't", lack of optimism, lack of confidence in ability
I will do it later when I am more able or 'feel like it' - giving yourself credit for the future, your "why" becomes less visible

Identifying, labeling yourself as being lazy, bad, - so fight self (Know:  the self I am is the one that wants the best for me; I am not any "permanent condition"; laziness is temporary not fixed)

Self-criticism for lack of self control (should give self understanding and compassion as being human, operating with human equipment which cannot "win" all the time; punishment does not work, as it triggers fear thinking, which lowers self-control).  Punish yourself for falling short.

Believing you are fatigued (instead of realizing you have more energy and the ability to gin it up)


Lack of self-confidence

Beliefs that there is danger where there isn't or believing all dangers are 'big'
(Proper, Proportionate Response)

Appropriate sizing

Too big of a chunk at once (can only "purchase" what you can afford, so to speak)