BlogHer Book Club Review: The Willpower Instinct

I’m a fiction girl. I rarely stray outside my preferred genre, but this year I decided that I wanted to challenge myself, particularly with the books I read… So I agreed to review a self-help book, which I’ve never read before. Turns out this book was kind of perfect timing.  I made the decision at the end of December to finally shed my 40+ pounds of baby weight, so a book about willpower and taking control of it was perfect for me… Especially since I’ve tried and failed multiple times to lose the weight in the last three years.

I’m exactly the kind of person this program has in mind. McGonigal seemed to be speaking directly to me when she wrote, “Most people feel like willpower failures–in control one moment but overwhelmed and out of control the next.” With this book she advises readers to examine how and why we lose control; to understand the “science of willpower” we must really get to know ourselves – especially how we find ourselves in “willpower trouble.” To accomplish this, she has designed the book to teach us how to become “willpower scientists,” through a series of assignments designed to help us pay attention to how our behaviors are already operating in our lives. McGonigal advises I pick a specific will-power challenge to test every idea against. Perfect! Let the weight-loss battle begin!

The willpower challenges that she suggests are the “I will” power challenge, the “I won’t” power challenge, and the “I want power challenge”. The challenge that spoke to me most was the “I will” power challenge – mostly because the positive “will” language appealed to me. She describes this as choosing “something you would like to do more of, or stop putting off, because you know doing it will improve the quality of your life”.

This book gave me a lot of tools that I can implement, as well as some good knowledge as to what, exactly willpower is and what part of the brain it comes from (the prefrontal cortex, if you’re wondering). I’ve begun taking small steps from this book and can’t wait to continue my willpower challenge even further! If you’re looking to make sure some of those resolutions stick, pick up a copy of this book to glean some little tidbits on how to take control of your willpower.

DISCLOSURE: I received both monetary compensation plus a copy of The Willpower Instinct for this post as part of the BlogHer Book Club. You can read more about this book or join the discussion by visiting the BlogHer Book Club’s discussion of The Willpower Instinct. These thoughts and words are 100% authentic, and 100% my own.



Happy Birthday To:

  • Kate Middleton
  • Dave Matthews
  • Joan Baez
  • Jimmy Page
  • Severus Snape

Oh, and


That’s right, folks. Today I turn twenty-nine years old. Twenty-nine! How in the actual eff did that sneak up on me?! Thus begins the last year of my twenties. THE LAST ONE. I remember sitting in my tiny one bedroom apartment on January 9th, 2004 and scribbling in my journal, “I’M TWENTY. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!”. That skinny twenty year old was in her first place on her own, worked at a restaurant, and was on the verge of dating the man she would eventually marry (thought she didn’t know it yet).

It’s really funny (and by funny I mean WTF JUST HAPPENED) how time seems to go faster and faster the older we get. Having a child has made it even faster than that.

I’m determined to make the last year of my twenties great. Yesterday at work, I walked in to a huge birthday surprise thanks to my amazing best friend, Rachel.

Yes, that is a unicorn farting. She is the best friend I could ever ask for. My coworkers all made sure I felt special and loved – plastering zombie cards all over my cubicle walls, taping this Grumpy Cat picture to my car window:

I work with awesome folks and you should be jealous.

I’m off work today to spend the day with my brother and his fiancee, who are headed back to Milwaukee tomorrow. It’s been a great weekend and I’m ready to tackle twenty-nine like an over-zealous college football player.