5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Willpower
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A852-5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Willpower
listen to A852-5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Willpower
If you want to have better self-control, you need to improve your willpower through consistent practice and proper use.
Everyone has willpower. Most people have not developed it enough to use it to their advantage. Instead, not having strong willpower works against them.
1-Minute Summary Video
What is Willpower?
Willpower is the ability to resist an urge or overcome a temptation. When you develop it, you will have better self-control and reach the outcomes you want a lot easier.
Willpower is also the ability to stay focused on a goal without letting yourself get distracted. When you can use your willpower and give more energy to one thing, you will get it done faster compared to if you’re distracted by many things.
You can strengthen your willpower the same way you can develop a muscle. When strengthened through use, you will avoid making poor choices and often do what will lead to positive outcomes.
Why is Willpower Important?
Willpower is important for several reasons.
- It helps you make smart decisions. Even though you may know to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get proper sleep every night, you may not always do it. Without a strong willpower and intention, you may eat unhealthy, skip workouts, and not get enough sleep.
- It helps you follow through on your goals. If you have willpower, you will do what’s required to achieve your goals, even though it may not always be easy.
- It helps keep you motivated. Without motivation, you can easily get off track. Sometimes, you may not feel motivated, but if you have strong willpower, you can get yourself to do what you need to.
- It prevents you from developing unproductive habits. You know what’s good or not good for you. If you have a highly developed willpower, you can avoid bad habits and give more attention to productive ones.
Since it influences your ability to have self-control, you will have a higher level of self-respect when you improve your willpower.
Why Do People Have Weak Willpower?
Commons reasons people have weak willpower include:
- They have not learned how to develop and use it properly.
- They don’t know how it works or why it’s important.
- They lack discipline and self-control.
- They don’t have patience.
- They focus on short-term rather than long-term benefits.
- They don’t see results quickly and often give up too soon.
- They don’t learn from their experiences.
The Factors That Affect Your Willpower
Before you can improve it, you need to know what affects your willpower.
Factors that affect your willpower include:
- Your beliefs. What you believe about yourself and others can either inspire you or demotivate you.
- Your environments. The people you associate with, your place of work, or the objects or materials around you influence your ability to have self-control.
- Your personality traits. Personality traits such as being impatient, impulsive, stubborn, or easily stressed can influence your willpower.
- Your genetics. Genetics has an effect on your willpower. Some people can avoid temptations a lot easier than others.
- Your thoughts. How you think and give meaning to your past failures and successes can either motivate you or cause you to lack drive and urgency in what you do.
- Your emotions. Emotions affect your willpower. If you’re angry, frustrated, stressed, anxious, or depressed, you will have lower willpower than when you’re calm, relaxed, or happy.
How to Improve Your Willpower and Keep It Strong
Here are five steps you can take to improve your willpower, so you can use it to your advantage and achieve the outcomes you want a lot faster.
1. Change your mindset to generate empowering thoughts
If you have the habit of criticizing yourself and engaging in negative self-talk, it will weaken your willpower.
A better option is to generate positive thoughts and see yourself as someone with self-control and discipline.
Whenever you get off track, instead of beating yourself up about it, acknowledge what happened, then recommit to what you want to develop.
2. Use rewards and consequences for motivation
If you want to develop the ability to focus better, every time you do something without letting yourself get distracted, you can give yourself a reward. Choose a reward that will further reinforce what you want to achieve.
Similarly, if you don’t reach your target, you can build in a consequence that will act as a deterrent. That will help you stay committed to what you want.
It’s important to know you will make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and use them as lessons to improve your approach.
3. Focus on long-term benefits
The goal of developing your willpower is to improve the quality of your life. When you can identify why it’s important and how your life will improve, you’re more likely to stay motivated.
Let go of instant gratification and focus on the long-term gains.
4. Get the support you need
Doing anything that involves a behaviour change on your own is hard. Improving your willpower is a mental exercise, which can feel harder than doing a physical exercise.
Having someone or people to support you and keep you accountable will make a difference. You want people who will support and also not buy into your excuses when you get off track.
5. Develop empowering habits and routines
A habit is something you do without giving it conscious thought. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to, turn it into a habit.
Focus on one small change and make it a habit. For example, if you want to read something educational or inspirational daily, rather than saying you will read for an hour, start with five minutes. Everyone can dedicate five minutes a day to something.
You will find you want to read for more than five minutes, and soon enough, it will become a habit.
Your willpower is like a muscle, so the more you use, the stronger it gets. It’s also something that’s finite, which means you should not expect to have unlimited amounts of it.
When you have control over your willpower, you will create more positive outcomes in your life.
Action Step: Identify a goal you want to achieve that you know you need to give more mental energy to. Decide a habit you can develop that will support you in achieving that goal. Choose any step mentioned to stay committed to it and to develop your willpower.
Question: What are other steps you can take to improve your willpower?