Easy Ways To Turn Up Your Willpower When You Need It
Raise your hand if you have goals you’re trying to achieve. Now raise the other hand if you’d get there faster if the struggle wasn’t oh so real.
“Just do it” worked as a Nike slogan, but just putting in the work to accomplish your goals can be harder than it sounds. The trouble? Sometimes willpower can be kind of fickle. It’s right there when you need to wake up early for a morning meeting on no sleep, but nowhere to be found when you walk past the vending machine an hour before lunch and end up buying junk food you have no business munching on.
But there are ways to turn up your willpower whenever you need it to work for you. All you need is a little bit of practice.
Stop Thinking About It
OK, if it was that easy we’d all do it. But while “just stop thinking about it” doesn’t always work, meditation can. Whether it’s a certain someone or a number five with extra fries, meditation can help get your mind off of it.
Plus, clearing your mind with meditation helps you tap into the part of your brain that’s better at making smarter decisions.
Make It a Group Effort
We all have a friend who’s always reminding us to stay on the right track. And sometimes it’s tempting to not tell her when you’re doing wrong because you know what she will have to say. But if you’re serious about your goals, let her help to hold you accountable. Those reminders might be just what you need to stay on track.
Find out the Real Problem
When you seem headed for a decision that you know is the wrong one, the key to stopping yourself can be finding out why you want to make that choice. Stress, the need for a little company or even PMS can lead us to make decisions we wouldn’t normally.
List some of the reasons you might be tempted to call your ex or eat your second slice of chocolate cake. When you find one that feels right, find a more positive way to deal with such impulses.
Let Someone Else Take the Wheel
A nutritionist, personal trainer, life or dating coach can help guide you to make good decisions in the beginning. Once they lead you down the right path, finding the willpower to stick to making better decisions will be easier when you start seeing results.
Think About What You Really Want
Find your willpower by refocusing on your goals. Write down where you want to be and the steps you need to take this year, this month and this week to make it happen. If sleeping in instead of hitting the gym isn’t on the right path, you know what to do.
Fifteen minutes on Pinterest or your favorite fitness guru’s Instagram can remind you why avoiding backsliding is important.
Start a class, join a singles Meetup or start a project. They’ll keep you busy working on your goals and away from distractions.
Get to Bed
When is your willpower the weakest? When you’re low on sleep. When you’re fighting temptation it’s extra important to get a enough rest at night so you’re alert enough to make good decisions during the day.
Celebrate Your Little Victories
Every time you put your willpower to work and make a good decision? Reward yourself. There’s nothing wrong with a cheat meal to celebrate a week’s worth of diet and exercise or a shopping trip to celebrate staying up late to work on your passion project like you promised yourself you would.
Make It Work with a Mantra
Something as simple as repeating “a winner doesn’t quit on themselves” (or any other lyrics from a song that gives you power) every time you feel tempted to make a questionable decision can help you tap into your personal power.
Work out Your Willpower
Willpower is like a muscle. Train it up with small goals until it’s strong enough to support you through serious temptation. And when it’s worn out, give it a break. Skipping a workout today (or having a snack or sleeping in) can give you the rest you need to be even more committed tomorrow.
Just Say “No”
When other people distract you from your goals, don’t feel bad for turning them down in favor of looking out for your best interests. It’s not about being selfish. If you don’t put your needs first, no one will.
Build up Your Confidence
When your willpower in certain things is weak, try tackling something you know you’re good at. Giving yourself a win will remind you of what you are capable of. It will also remind you that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Count Down the Days
Sometimes it feels like struggle is going to last forever. But you know what they say: It takes just three weeks to create a habit. Hard work is easier when there’s an end in sight. And after just 21 days, any struggle to change gets a lot easier.