Ever wondered why you just can’t seem to make yourself get to the gym? What is the science behind your inability to pass by a plate of cookies or finally clean out your closet? The Willpower Instinct will help you figure out the answers to these questions of will.

Using both science and real-life stories, Kelly McGonigal tells us exactly what willpower is and how we can use it more effectively. Based on her popular psychology course at Stanford University, this book uncovers some common misconceptions about willpower that plague most people. For instance, did you know that too much self-control can sabotage your goals? That willpower is more like a muscle than a virtue that some are born with? McGonigal explains the science behind these facts with easy-to-understand language and examples.

This is not a book to rush through in a weekend. McGonigal asks readers to treat the book as an experiment. There are assignments in every chapter aimed at identifying how readers currently operate, and new strategies will help them practice better willpower. These assignments are accessible and easily adapted for whatever habits a reader would like to break or cultivate.

Refreshingly easy to read and peppered with stories of people who have successfully used its methods, The Willpower Instinct is a new kind of self-help book. Using science to help explain the “why” and strategies for the “how,” McGonigal has created a book that will appeal to those who want to lose a few pounds as well as those who are eager to understand why they just cannot seem to get through their to-do list. A must-read for anyone who wants to change how they live in both small and big ways.

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