Every day, you awaken with a frontal cortex totally charged with willpower, provided you’re obtaining many good, quality sleep! How you apply that willpower over the course of the day can mostly be affected by that first half-hour of your morning.
Here’s a method someone might begin her day: You awaken, and while still in bed, reach for your smartphone and begin scrolling through email. Then do a quick social media scan, check the Instagram and Facebook posts, then maybe you check out a news website or two. Finally you get out of bed, go make coffee, flip on the TV, and eat a high-sugar breakfast while you watch a morning talk show.
While you do all this, you also warily attempt to make choices regarding what you need to get done during the day. This energy spent on weighing choices directly drains your willpower reserves. Also, you scold yourself for not having exercised the day before, further exhausting your willpower reserves. You then shower, dress, and hit the morning traffic.
I have a much better option for you. Below is an outline I developed while serving in Iraq, in 2004. Despite the environmental stress that comes with being in a combat zone, I was …