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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Recently Read: The Willpower Instinct

I think the Blogher Book Club has officially changed my mind about self-help books. The most recent book up for review, The Willpower Instinct, by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, was not only an interesting read, but one I found quite helpful.

You may remember that one of my New Years resolutions is to “Lose 30lbs before I turn 30,” so when the chance came to review a book about willpower, I knew it could be useful. Although I’m always skeptical about non-fiction (what can I say, I love me some fiction!), McGonigal’s book immediately drew me in. She has a easy, chatty tone with interesting stories about her students and their willpower challenges, and a great sense of humor. 

McGonigal’s writing style combines a scientific discussion of willpower with strategies to overcome nature’s pitfalls in your own life. Chapter 4, which focused on Moral Licensing, really spoke to me. How often have I told myself “I deserve this treat,” when it’s counter-productive to my overall goal? No longer! 

The book is designed to be used like her class - at the end of each chapter there are lessons and rules to put into practice, along with a chapter summary, and you’re supposed to conquer one a week. Of course I had to read the whole book in one go for reviewing purposes, but I think I’ll go back and reference McGonigal’s rules and ideas for weekly improvement throughout the next few months. This format makes it easy and accessible to really use the book for it’s intended purpose - giving you the willpower to overcome your challenge. Hopefully it’ll help me with mine! 

This post is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are my own. Past book reviews are here


  1. I do like self help books, may have to give this one a read!

    1. I really liked it! Especially if you're working on one big thing you can't seem to conquer!


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