Self-Help Advice That Works
What to Try: Daily training, writes psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci in his new book Your Inner Will: Finding Personal Strength in Critical Times, beginning with the following question: "Are the events of my life the result of forces over which I have no say, or can I in some way mold my existence?" The belief that you can control and improve your life, he argues, is a function of willpower—and willpower can be developed. To start, Ferrucci suggests, write down a list of small acts that require effort and concentration and that you can complete in 24-hour period. For example: not watching television, eating junk food or reading the gossip sites online. Or: making a tricky phone call, chewing your food properly or going to bed a half hour earlier. No matter how long the list is, chose two or three acts to accomplish the following day. Sure, quitting TV or the gossip blogs for a night doesn't mean that you've quit them for the rest of your life. But the point of the exercise isn't to eliminate all your bad habits in one sitting, it's to give your willpower a workout—and provide yourself with a few very noticeable examples of your own strength, which will then inspire you to try again harder the next day.