If only you could control yourself. If you had more willpower, you could finally lose those last 10 pounds. If you had more self-control, you could finally stop procrastinating, save for retirement, stick to an exercise routine, and avoid various vices such as alcohol and cigarettes.
That's a lot riding on mere force of will.
As the American Psychological Association notes, people allover the world tend to place a lot of stock in the power of willpower. According to their annual Stress in America Survey, people identified a lack of willpower as the number one factor holding them back from achieving their goals. Change can be difficult and a large portion of people believe that one of the biggest obstacles preventing them from making a change is this seemingly elusive power of will.
However, some of the most popular theories of behavior change suggest that willpower alone is not always enough to make a real and lasting change. According to the Stages of Change model, it is important to first recognize that there is a need to change, identify possible barriers to change, come up with a plan of action, monitor progress, maintain and manage the change, and cope with any possible relapses. Willpower plays a role, certainly, but it is not the only factor that impacts success.
While many of us struggle with willpower and self-control, most people also seem to believe that this is a skill that can be learned and strengthened. Fortunately, researchers have also come to similar conclusions and suggest that there are a number of things that you can do to improve your self-control.
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source : www.about.com