Tagged With willpower

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The start of a new year is, of course, the perfect time for a fresh start. There's the metaphorical power, plus the numerical ease of counting days and months of success from Jan 1. But balanced against the celebratory excess and indulgence of the holiday season, New Year's resolutions can, sadly, tend towards abstinence.

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In the spring of 1966, a man named Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix. The police had very little to go on, but they suspected Miranda of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman 10 days earlier. The officers interrogated Miranda for two hours and were rewarded for their effort: Miranda admitted to the rape charge and signed a confession paper. There was just one problem. During the interrogation, Miranda had been alone and at no point was he informed that he had the right to legal counsel.

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It's 3pm and you find yourself struggling to focus on work. You can't seem to stop checking Facebook. Instead of being productive, you welcome distractions like text messages and co-workers coming by to chat. Welcome to the afternoon slump: that time in your workday when your brain refuses to cooperate with you and you can't stop procrastinating.

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A loss of self-control (such as giving up on a diet) is usually caused by changing priorities rather than the exhaustion of willpower, new international research has found. While contributing factors such as mounting fatigue can affect motivation, the concept that self-control is a finite resource is simply false.

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Regardless of what you resolved to do better in the new year, you won't get very far without some good habits in place. This weekend, take the time to understand how to make the right behaviours stick and rid yourself of the old ones.