I just finished reading the article in Time magazine titled, Lent and the Science of Self-Denial. One of the first paragraphs really kind of explains some of what I am doing this year.
"Willpower is a quality that can be in short supply in all of us but it’s
one that, as we report in this week’s TIME, is increasingly seen as
cultivatable. Indeed, the best way to think of willpower is not as some
shapeless behavioral trait but as a sort of psychic muscle, one that can
atrophy or grow stronger depending on how it’s used. What’s more,
neurologists and behavioral psychologists generally think of willpower
as what’s known as “domain general,” which means that the more you
practice it to control one behavior — say, overeating — the more it
starts to apply itself to other parts of your life like exercising more
or drinking less."
Of course the irony of the Lenten season is that it is preceded by Mardi Gras, a day of excess, but I digress....
I am really finding that my thoughts are changing each day and I am finding fewer and fewer excuses for not getting things done...especially the ongoing tasks. I don't feel like I am denying myself of anything because I really don't, but I do now think twice about having that second brownie.
Another great article in Time, The Secrets of Self-Control: The Marshmallow Test 40 Years Later,
"In the late 1960s, researchers submitted hundreds of four-year-olds
to an ingenious little test of willpower: the kids were placed in a
small room with a marshmallow or other tempting food and told they could
either eat the treat now, or, if they could hold out for another 15
minutes until the researcher returned, they could have two.
Most children said they would wait. But some failed to resist the
pull of temptation for even a minute. Many others struggled a little
longer before eventually giving in. The most successful participants
figured out how to distract themselves from the treat’s seduction — by
turning around, covering their eyes or kicking the desk, for instance —
and delayed gratification for the full 15 minutes.
Follow-up studies on these preschoolers found that those who were
able to wait the 15 minutes were significantly less likely to have
problems with behavior, drug addiction or obesity by the time they were
in high school, compared with kids who gobbled the snack in less than a
minute. The gratification-delayers also scored an average of 210 points
higher on the SAT."
I can't go back to being 4 years old and learning to NOT gobble up the marshmallow but reading these article and focusing on my list is helping me discover some great traits/characteristics to pass on to my daughter....