Is increasing willpower as easy as pretending you’re left-handed?
One simple way to start is by using a different hand for routine tasks. Many habits are linked to your dominant hand. Right-handed people, in particular, tend to use their right hands for all sorts of things without giving the matter the slightest thought. Making yourself switch to your left hand is thus an exercise in self-control. You can resolve to use your left hand instead of your habitual right hand for brushing your teeth, using a computer mouse, opening doors, or lifting a cup to your lips. If it seems too onerous to do this all day, try it for a set period. Some research studies have assigned people to switch hands between eight A.M. and eight P.M. This lets people revert to their familiar habits in the evening, when they are already physically tired and mentally depleted from the day’s activities. (Note to lefties: This strategy may not be as effective for you, because many left-handed people are actually fairly ambidextrous and have had more practice using their right hands in a world oriented for right-handed people. So using your right hand may not do as much for your willpower: No strain, no gain.)
In fact, any little exercise like this that requires willpower increases willpower.
Join 25K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.