Each year, I like to pull together the most-read blog posts of the year. It's always fascinating to see what gets tweeted, emailed, and read, and what gets lost in the dustbin of internet debris. So, ladies and gentlemen, this was the year in willpower:
Five tips, based on latest science of willpower, for moving on.
Eat, drink, laugh, and nap your way to more energy, focus, and self-control. (I'm shocked, I tell you shocked, OK completely NOT shocked, that this post would be one of the most popular. It also got picked up by the print magazines Psychology Today and Reader's Digest.)
How mind-body beliefs shape your choices and influence your health.
The brain is easier to fool than we think -- and how to trick yourself into better behavior.
Leaders are natural willpower athletes, but are also at greater risk for willpower exhaustion.
#8 and #9 are the top two video posts of 2012:
In this talk to the Habit Formation meet-up group in San Francisco, I describe the main ways the approach of habit design fails, especially when it comes to what I call "really freakin' hard changes" like addiction, weight loss, or overcoming anxiety. Yeah, it was a bit cheeky to challenge habit design at this event, but the talk ended up going very well.
I stopped by the Toronto studios of the CBC to give the following 3-min advice about how to gain more willpower over your cellphone, Angry Birds, Facebook, or whatever tech-drug has you never satisfied but always seeking.
And finally, drumroll please.....for number 10, I share not the 10th most popular post, but the least read post of 2012. In a year that celebrated the 99%, and an election that hinged on the 47%, I say that this post is the most relevant, if the not the most retweeted. :)
Economic inequality makes us sicker, stressed out, and yes, even fatter. Why we should all care about the rising inequality in our society, whether you're in the 1% or 99%.
Wondering what you missed last year? Check out the most popular Science of Willpower Posts from 2011.
Kelly McGonigal is a psychologist at Stanford University. Her latest book is The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. She is also the author of The Neuroscience of Change and Yoga for Pain Relief.