More often than not, battles over homework lead to vicious cycles of nagging by parents and avoidance or refusal by children, with no improvement in a child's school performance -- and certainly no progress toward what should be our ultimate goals.
Trust me, I am intimately familiar with slamming the snooze button when my alarm goes off for an early morning run or pigging out, although I am supposedly watching what I eat, when there's a table of amazing appetizers at a party.
Consequences actually force your brain to look for ways to solve your problems and keep your promises with the energy it would normally use to justify flaking. You will be amazed at how effective and creative you become with the right promises and consequences.
It's been 24 years since I used vodka like aspirin -- to numb my pain. In fact, I've been sober 22 years more than I drank, since I quit before I was old enough to buy the stuff. So my brain should be used to ordering Perrier and shaking my head politely as the Merlot bottle comes my way.
Triggers are certain people and situations that bring out our -- let's just say -- less-attractive sides. They are targeted little emotional barbs that cause us to react quickly, without thinking, and in ways we regret later.
Fresh-baked bread with cream cheese is not something I eat daily. Sometimes not even weekly. But it is something I enjoy in moderation. Even if I'm being strict with my eating plan (something that, for the record, I'm always paying close attention to, even when "treating" myself).
Contrary to conventional wisdom, willpower is largely a useless strategy to overcoming internal resistance. Fortunately, there is an easier way to get unstuck from any project, goal or to-do you have been blocked from taking action on.
Why do we make bad decisions? Why do we eat that extra cookie or choose a cheeseburger instead of a salad with grilled chicken? It turns out there is nothing wrong with you when you give into fatigue or temptation. Your brain has simply run out of gas.
Ever wonder why it's easy to call forth self-discipline one moment, but difficult in another? Several years ago, researcher Dr. Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida, pondered the same question.
Anyone who has tried to break a bad habit has experienced the trouble with willpower. You want to stick to your diet, but you find yourself standing at a buffet filled with tempting desserts. Psychologists have been quite interested in understanding why willpower works so poorly.
A team of psychological scientists at Queen's University, Ontario, is now offering a novel idea about the origin of religion, and what's more they're delivering some preliminary scientific evidence to support their reasoning.
Something insidious has happened. The same device most of us use to get our primary work accomplished is also now the repository of 1,000 distractions and every imaginable source of immediate gratification.