Willpower is a Finite Resource

I find that I can only focus on 2-3 major life endeavors at a time.

I’ve been trying to do more than that and that means that everything has been shit lately.

  1. Training for a 10K, and now a half-marathon
  2. Eating less to lose weight
  3. Trying to find someone who’s the same brand of weird as me to date, which is apparently a tall order
  4. Make new friends and deepen/maintain friendships I already have
  5. Try new stuff/bucket list items
  6. Keep this blog going
  7. Make some self-employed money
  8. Control my spending
  9. Stop eating dairy for ethical reasons
  10. Stop drinking (not that I’m an alcoholic, but it’s not helping with #2)

It’s a lot.

#1 on its own, for me, was a lot.

You’d think that someone who runs as much as I do, for as long as I have been, enjoys running.  Well, I don’t.  I really don’t enjoy feeling winded and pushing myself in temperatures higher than 90 degrees.  And the last two runs I’ve had in the 13 mile range have been triggering overuse injuries.  So that endeavor, all by itself, was sucking up all of my willpower.

And I didn’t even realize that putting so many mental resources into #1 has made many of my other objectives pretty much fall by the wayside.  Which is ironic, because I’ve actually been gaining weight, and the whole point of all that running was to lose weight.

You can only “push” through so much.  You can only force yourself to do so much.  The capacity a person has to do this kind of work is limited.  Studies show us this.

I’ve also come to realize that I have this subconscious belief that if something is worth having, that it’s something I have to work for.  And if it’s really really worth having, then it means I have to work really, really hard for it.  And that’s just not true.

So, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with my training, or at least, in the same capacity as I was going for in June.  Because of all of the things on that list, seriously, #1 is really last as far as “things that matter”.

Are you working on the things that matter?

Leave a Reply