I struggled for years to quit smoking, then after many failed attempts I stopped without any difficulty. I've also experienced this on other things, like when I'll want to do something but I lack the discipline to do it, then eventually I'll have a surge of energy and willpower that will make it easy for me to get anything done.

What is the psychology behind this yo-yo surge of willpower?
How can I encourage my mind and body to bring on that heightened willpower?

  • $\begingroup$ Cognitive behavioral therapy can be quite effective, assuming the subject is committed to the change. Assuming the issues don't stem from a chemical imbalance, or even if they do, creating and holding to regular habits might be effective in strengthening willpower in general, so that surges are not the exclusive agent of change. The problem with the surge method is that moods can be subject to cycles. Mania and depression is one common cycle. The idea here is that, if you experience a surge, which is a form of disequilibrium, equili $\endgroup$
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 28, 2017 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would be more concrete if you asked about aspects of motivational theories in close relation to behavior. Motivation, planning and behavior. Some motivational theories address the impulse to action. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2017 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ I can't answer regarding cognitive behavior, but to me it seems like puzzle pieces suddenly fall into place. Then the path becomes clear. Maybe some "avoidance" piece is getting in the way. $\endgroup$
    – user3169
    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:00


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.