Once upon a time...I was a complete slob. I seriously was horrible. As a teenager, my friends would clean my room when we hung out because, even as inattentive teenagers, it was literally so out of control that even they noticed.
I remember always feeling like organization and structure or even "wasting" my time cleaning would box in my soul and kill my free spirit.
In my 20s, I did slightly better. My complete chaos turned into controlled chaos. But I still abhorred structure and suspected it to be the death of free thought.
Now, at almost 40, I suddenly realize that I feel very different! I can't pinpoint exactly when it came about but I've realized that I have, over time, done a complete 180! I have gone from refusing to plan or organize to refusing to walk away from any of my spaces without leaving it clear and perfectly organized...generally with a list sitting out in clear view of what I plan to do the next time I return to that space.
Here's the crazy thing. THIS HAS SET ME FREE!! I feel more stress-free than I ever have before. I feel in control. I never intentionally did this to control my weight but I've also noticed that I can control my impulses much better when I feel in control of all controllable areas of my life (because, let's face it, there will always be things that even control freaks like me can't control).
This was all something I've realized on some subconscious level for a while now. I've even written past posts about "what I have control over" and how it has helped changed me. But it really hit me on a more aware level just yesterday as I listened to an audiobook called "Willpower". What is very interesting about willpower is that it's not really something we have much control over. We have a certain amount of it each day and it varies based on not only how much sleep we've had and how much we've used our willpower that day but also on our socialization, as well as just our genetics!
It's almost kind of depressing to realize that we can't really improve our willpower that much. BUT what we can do is conserve and optimize it! One great way to conserve it is to control the world around us as much as possible. Anticipate variables and unexpected things. This can be accomplished by creating budgets, lots and lots of lists (otherwise it will be floating around in your head, taking up space, until it's settled...and you could STILL forget it when you need to remember it), hanging keys in the same spot every single time, planning meals including bringing extra healthy snacks on particularly stressful days. Doing all of these things can help calm our brains as well as avoid a lot of stressful situations.
Oh! And oddly enough, practicing good posture has also been shown as one of the only ways to possibly improve willpower.