Ego Depletion, the idea that willpower is a limited resource. Concept was originally proposed by Roy Baumeister and colleagues at the Florida State University following an experiment that found that when people resisted temptation, in the form of chocolate, they were less able to persist in completing a difficult puzzle task. They proposed that willpower functions similar to a muscle. It can be exhausted, and it can be strengthened depending on our actions. These findings have since been repeatedly found to be true in a number of different studies looking at ego depletion from different angles like dieting, athletic performance, consumer behavior, and more.
Many of us find ourselves in a state of constant ego-depletion. If you've done a poor job exercising willpower to work towards your goals for a long time getting started can be an incredibly challenging task. Also if you work at a job that you hate, chances are you're depleting your willpower almost daily, leaving little to do the things you really want to do.
If we subscribe to this hypothesis, the best way to start regaining our willpower is to start with small chunks of ego-affirming activities that help us build our willpower over time. If you try to tackle huge goals all at once, you run the risk of fatiguing your willpower.
We tend to believe that some people are just inherently better at getting things done, accomplishing goals. We kick ourselves for not being able to do the same. What we didn't consider is that a lot of people with seemingly fantastic willpower and self control aren't inherently better than the rest of us. They have simply worked for a long time to develop habits and activities that strengthen their willpower, and that makes it easier in the future to do everything.