It’s a concept explored by world willpower expert Professor Roy Baumeister in his best-selling book, imaginatively entitled Willpower. And it may come in useful for those New Year’s resolutions.
‘As you make decisions, you gradually deplete the energy you have available and your subsequent decisions are weaker,’ he says.
Eliminate those smaller, some might say trivial, decisions from your life and you have more energy to exert self-control, goes the thinking.
Baumeister adds: ‘You don’t want to waste willpower making decisions about breakfast. Having a set morning routine is much better.’
Other ways of boosting willpower in the tricky January period include short bursts of exercise. A study two years ago at the University of Exeter found volunteers who walked for 15 minutes before completing a series of simple computer tasks, outperformed those who spent the time just sitting around.
Maintaining blood sugar levels is also believed to help. Research by the Florida State University found that drinking sugar-sweetened lemonade restored depleted willpower in people completing repetitive intelligence tests. So, crash dieting is definitely not advisable.
Getting a good night’s sleep and having a positive mental attitude are also both believed to boost resolve.
So, there you have it. Your new morning routine. Eat cornflakes. Put on grey T-shirt and jeans. Leave house.