It is easiest to resist temptation on the front end – using your willpower at the first opportunity that a bad impulse knocks. The longer we flirt with the temptation at hand, the harder it is to refuse it.

If you have a weakness for M&Ms, it is far easier to walk past them on the shelf than it is to stroll by the candy jar without digging in, and it is even harder to say no once a few of the chocolate circles are in your hand. You are more likely to have the willpower to pass up those expensive shoes in the store than you are to be able to resist them once you try them on, and you’re even less likely to return them once you’ve brought them home. And while difficult, it is still far easier to make a healthy dish for the potluck than it is to bring your favorite high-calorie treat and hope you don’t eat any of it or to drive right by the “puppies for sale sign” rather than going in “just to pet them.”

For most people, willpower wanes. Capitalize on your strength at the start and implement a hard resistance to your initial urge.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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