How often have you started a diet or exercise program to give up a few days or weeks later? How often do you plan to work on your business but never find the time?
If this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. Many people struggle with a lack of willpower and self-discipline.
There are ways to build our willpower, but they are not always pleasant. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do things we don’t want to do, like going for a run when we’d rather stay in bed. Or eating broccoli instead of ice cream or saving money instead of spending it.
This blog post will explore tips to help you overcome these challenges and achieve your goals!
What is willpower?
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines willpower as resisting temptation, sticking to your goals, and overcoming an unwelcome thought, feeling, bad habits, or impulse.
Experts say that willpower is neutral. It is not linked to virtues or ethics but is more to practical skills. Willpower is like a muscle that can be built up over time with practice.
We all have moments where we need to muster up willpower – whether it’s resisting temptation, getting out of bed for an early workout, or working through a challenging project. Willpower is an essential tool we can use to achieve our goals, and it’s worth taking the time to understand how it works.
Willpower is also affected by fatigue, hunger, and stress. However, there are some ways to improve your willpower. For example, you can try to get enough sleep and exercise regularly. You can also try to eat a healthy diet and avoid decision fatigue which we will discuss later on in this article.
There are two types of willpower:
- The ability to resist temptation and stay on track (this is what we typically think of when we hear the word willpower)
- The ability to control your emotions and stay positive in the face of adversity.
An example of willpower:
- Staying on a diet or exercise program
- Following through on commitments, even when you don’t feel like it
- Ignoring distractions and staying focused on your work
- Resisting the urge to procrastinate
- Avoiding impulsive decisions
Why is willpower important?
Willpower is important because it lets you stay focused and achieve your goals. It can be the difference between success and failure.
Think about it this way: if you want to lose weight but give in to every craving and eat whatever you want, you will never reach your goal. On the other hand, if you have the willpower to resist temptation and stick to your diet, you will be successful.
The same principle applies to other areas of your life. If you want to start your own business but can never find the time to work on it, you will never achieve your goal. But if you have the willpower to discipline yourself and work on your business daily, you will eventually succeed.
Where does willpower come from?
Willpower is a difficult thing to understand. It can come from different places for different people. For some, willpower is something that is inside them, and for others, it is something that comes from outside sources. However, there are some general things that can be said about willpower.
Studies have shown that willpower is a limited resource. This means that it can be depleted by overuse. Willpower depletion is a real phenomenon. As we use our self-control throughout the day, it gets weaker and weaker. This is why it’s often hard to resist temptation in the evening, after a long day at work. We’re tired, hungry, and want to relax.
If you use Willpower too much in one day, you’ll have less available for other tasks. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize your most important things and use your Willpower accordingly.
5 ways to increase willpower muscles
You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt like you don’t have enough willpower to fulfill your goals. Lack of willpower is one of the most common reasons why people fail to reach their goals.
Here are five ways to increase willpower and accomplish your goals:
1. Set small goals:
Many people think setting big goals is the key to success. However, studies have shown that small, achievable goals are more effective in the long run. This is because it’s easy to get discouraged when trying to accomplish something big.
When you set a small goal and deadline, you’re more likely to stick with it because you can see the finish line. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach your goal, motivating you to keep going.
Willpower is essential when achieving your goals, but it’s also important to set realistic goals. If you’re constantly putting pressure on yourself to accomplish something out of reach, you’re more likely to give up. So next time you’re setting a goal, think about what you can realistically achieve, and go for it!
2. Commit to your goals:
To improve willpower, you need to be committed to your goals. This means that you should not give up when things get tough. When you are committed to your goals, you will find it easier to resist temptation and stay on track.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are most things worth having. Achieving any goal requires a fair amount of time, energy, and commitment.
If you want to acquire your goals, you need to be determined and not have any second thoughts. You can’t make any excuses or doubts, either. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have decided to achieve self-improvement on your own.
If your heart isn’t in it, it’ll be much harder to stay motivated when it gets tough. So ask yourself if this is something you’re ready to commit to before getting started.
Chances are if you’re doubting it now, it’s not worth your time and effort. But if you’re confident and excited about what lies ahead, give it your all and don’t look back!
3. Practice willpower regularly:
We all have willpower, but some of us have more than others. And those who have willpower know how to use it. They know how to control their thoughts, emotions, and actions.
They know how to stick to their goals and stay on track. So how can you develop more willpower? The answer is simple: by practicing it regularly.
Willpower is something that can be trained and strengthened over time. As we already mentioned, Willpower is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it will become. So the next time you’re tempted to skip your workout or eat that second piece of cake, resist the urge.
Practice willpower by making the best choice for your health and happiness. Over time, you’ll develop greater self-control and be one step closer to achieving your goals.
4. Avoid distractions:
Anyone who has tried to diet or overcome addiction knows willpower is not always easy to muster. It can be downright hard sometimes. One of the best ways to increase your willpower is to avoid distractions.
This means that you should not allow yourself to be sidetracked by things that are not related to your goal. For example, if you are trying to diet, you should not allow yourself to be tempted by unhealthy snacks or drinks. Instead, it would help if you focused on healthy foods to help you reach your goals.
Similarly, if you are trying to overcome an addiction like quitting smoking, you should avoid places where people are smoking. By avoiding distractions, you can expand your willpower and make it more likely that you will complete your goals.
5. Anticipate obstacles
Everyone falls behind sometimes. Life gets busy, and before you know it, you’re weeks behind on your goals. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to try to catch up, but it’s important to be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time.
Willpower is a strength that gets stronger with use, so the more you practice overcoming obstacles, the easier it will become.
Start by identifying what triggers you to fall behind in the first place.
Is it external factors like work or family obligations? Or is it internal factors like procrastination or perfectionism? Once you know your triggers, you can start developing strategies for overcoming them.
For example, if you tend to put off important tasks, set smaller goals and deadlines to help yourself stay on track. Or, if you’re easily distracted, try working in short bursts of focused time instead of trying to power through for hours at a time.
Whatever your triggers are, there’s no shame in falling behind – we all do it from time to time. The key is to learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.
Tips For Better Willpower
You can practice your willpower by following the activities below to increase your willpower:
Practicing meditation can enrich your willpower and help you manage stress in your daily life better. So even though it may not be the most exciting thing you’ve ever done, there’s no doubt that meditation can be well worth the effort.
Get started with a meditation practice. Begin with just 10 minutes per day. Focus on your breath and sit quietly. Do not move. That’s it.
Using your opposite hand
It may seem like a silly exercise, but using your non-dominant hand can increase your willpower muscles. That’s because it forces you to slow down and pay attention to your actions.
When you’re used to doing things quickly and without thought, using your opposite hand forces you to think about each movement. As a result, you’re more likely to stick to your goals.
Set deadlines and complete tasks on time
Setting deadlines and keeping to them is one of the most effective strategies for increasing your willpower and getting things done.
It can be anything from folding your laundry to calling your mother-in-law.
Setting and meeting deadlines help you increase your self-discipline, which can lead to a happier life. It also challenges any procrastination habits you might have developed. The more often you procrastinate, the more difficult it becomes to overcome that urge.
So by setting deadlines and following through on them, you’re increasing your productivity and making it easier to resist temptation in the future.
Another exercise to improve your willpower is to Eat deliberately. It simply means sitting down and focusing on your meal without distractions like television or smartphones.
Keep track of how many times you eat each bite. Between bites, take three deep breaths. When you eat deliberately, you’re more likely to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body. As a result, you’re likely to make healthier choices and feel better overall.
Change your environment
Making small changes to your environment can significantly impact your willpower. If you want to reduce your screen time, cancel your streaming subscriptions. If you’re going to eat healthier, avoid junk food in your kitchen and store it on shelves that are hard to reach.
Find a role model:
One of the best ways to improve willpower is to find someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve. This person can be a friend, family member, or celebrity.
Seeing someone else achieve your goal will inspire you to do the same. Knowing that someone else has accomplished what you’re striving for can be a huge boost to your motivation.
And if you ever start to feel like you’re losing willpower, all you have to do is look to that person for inspiration and remember that it is possible to achieve your dreams.
Willpower is essential for achieving goals but can be challenging to maintain. However, by anticipating obstacles and using strategies like meditation, opposite hand use, and setting deadlines, you can raise your willpower and improve your chances for success.
Try these activities to help increase your willpower today! How have you been successful in the past at increasing your willpower? What techniques do you find helpful? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading.