Change: More than just willpower

5491097If you’ve ever tried to make a personal change of any type:  lose weight, control your spending, quit smoking, drink less; you know that change isn’t easy.  What is easy is to believe that all you need is willpower.  But, willpower just isn’t enough.

I’m an avid reader and I love a good “self help” book.  It probably all started with Chicken Soup for the Soul when I was a kid.  It was just addicting reading stuff that made me feel like I could be better and I could make things better.  If you’re looking for a great read with actions you can take now to make that change you’ve always wanted to make, then look no further than Change Anything by the Vital Smarts people.

If, for no other reason, you read this book in order to grant yourself forgiveness for your past failures, you will have succeeded.  Within the first few chapters, the book discusses the six different power sources working against you to prevent you from changing (hint:  only one of them is your willpower).

According to Change Anything, the six sources of power that affect your ability to change successfully are as follows:

  1. Personal Motivation:  Yep, this is willpower.  But it’s so much more than that.  It’s our internal dialogue & how that dialogue either helps us or hurts us.
  2. Personal Ability:  This one (to some extent) is also willpower.   It also includes our knowledge, our training, and our skills.
  3. Social Motivation:  These are our friends, accomplices, cheerleaders. and coaches.
  4. Social Ability:  This is how we choose to spend our time with those people above in the Social Motivation category.
  5. Structural Motivation:   This is the price you pay in money, time, emotion, stress, or even reward (or lack of reward) in doing your target behavior.
  6. Structural Ability:  This comes down to the hurdles & distance between you and your desired or undesired behavior.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be talking about how I deconstructed my weight loss journey using what I learned in Change Anything.


Which of the six sources of power do you think are affecting you most right now and what might you do to change it?


Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,

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