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One Year and 193 Posts Later …

About the site

A year ago yesterday I made my first Willpower Engine post, writing about the riddle my sister posed years ago when she seemed to develop formidable willpower out of nowhere. I think that was my first real clue that willpower was not something that a person just had or didn’t have, but rather something that could strengthened, grown, built on, activated, or energized. It wasn’t until the last few years, though, that I started doing book research and really began to understand how willpower actually works.

I started this blog thinking that there should be enough to post about for at least a few months, but what I’ve found is that the number of things a person can usefully know about willpower, self-motivation, habit-building, habit-breaking, goals, and organization–all of which I would suggest are different ways of looking at the same thing–is enormous. This seems kind of depressing at first, because you think to yourself “Are you kidding? I’ve got to get all this down before I get my willpower working?” Fortunately, it’s more like every different facet of willpower is a different kind of opportunity to seize, and any single one can make a real difference in our lives. We don’t have to learn every single tool that can possibly affect willpower (well, I’ve been doing my best to keep up with all of it, but that’s just because I’m trying to write about all of those tools): we just have to find a good set of tools that work for us personally.

The site and the posts have changed since the beginning: for a while there I was trying to make each post almost like a chapter of a book, with full and in-depth coverage of one specific thing. Over time I’ve learned to say less at once, to try to come in and make one specific point that might be able to stick with a person throughout the day instead of trying to cover every angle. I’ve also gone from posting a few times a week, whenever I thought of something to write about, to within a month posting on a regular schedule, first three days a week and more recently five. Sometimes I have a few posts ready in advance, while sometimes I finish the next day’s post just the night before. After a year, thinking and writing about habit has become a habit itself for me, and is almost always interesting and fun.

I’m very grateful to everyone who has come by to read The Willpower Engine so far, especially to those who have commented or gotten in touch, as well as to friends, family members, and visitors who have helped me refine and improve the site. I hope you’re getting at least a small part of the enormous pleasure and benefit from reading the site that I get from writing it for you.

You can find a complete list of Willpower Engine posts to date on the Complete Post Listing page at

Photo by benefit of hindsight

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