Your every action, decision, though depends on how well your willpower is developed. Without it, you cannot become the person you want, and all your goals will remain unfulfilled. Some people mistakenly believe that this quality is given from birth. However, this is not the case: the presence or absence of willpower depends only on you. The formation of volitional qualities occurs throughout a person’s life, which means that you can develop this trait at any time and at any age. One has only to want.
What is will power?
“The will of man” is one of the most complicated concepts in psychology. This power is manifested through constant control over yourself and your thoughts. Stanford University lecturer, Ph.D. Professor Kelly McGonigal in her book Will Power. How to develop and strengthen, "writes that within each person there are three forces:" I will, "I will not, "I want. " Power of will is the ability to control these three forces and to turn on each of them in time.
What influences the development of willpower?
Just as we develop our muscles, we can develop willpower. For this, it is necessary to subject it to regular loads. There are several main features that form a strong-willed character. All these qualities together strengthen willpower.
1. Patience keeps us on the right track, not allowing us to retreat.
2. Desire points us to our goal, cutting off all secondary.
3. Faith helps us transform our desires into the intended goal.
4. The decision is needed to make the first step.
5. Courage gives impetus to the realization of our desires.
6. Perseverance helps us not to give up after an unsuccessful attempt and try again and again.
7. Independence allows you to consciously determine those goals that are important to you.
22 Tips On How to Boost Willpower
Tip # 1. Manage your stress
The first step towards gaining willpower is managing stress. Being under the influence of long-term nervous tension, a person irrationally uses his energy resources, which negatively affects the work of the prefrontal cortex and aggravates the “fight or flight” state. In stressful situations, we act instinctively and make decisions without considering the consequences, while self-control requires in-depth consideration and analysis of the situation. Professor Kelly McGonigal advises to take a couple of deep breaths in a stressful situation and try to distract from your thoughts. She believes that this practice is an excellent start in dealing with chronic stress.
Tip # 2. Control your sleep
Lack of sleep has a strong effect on the effective functioning of the prefrontal cortex. Lack of sleep is a kind of stress for the body that affects how your body and brain deplete your energy resources. Therefore, whether you are getting enough sleep or not depends on your productivity. Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Daniel Kripke conducted a study on how much time it takes a person to recover the strength spent per day. The study found that people who sleep 6.5–7.5 hours a day work much more productively, feel happier and live longer.
Tip number 3. Set yourself specific tasks
You must determine what is of paramount importance to you. When compiling a to-do list, enter only those that have significance, otherwise, new tasks will be added over time, and old ones will not be executed and accumulated at the end of the list. In his book Power of Will: Rediscovering Man's Greatest Power, social psychologist Roy Baumeister says that without knowing exactly what you want to achieve, self-regulation will be reduced to meaningless and purposeless changes. The problem is not that you have no goals, but the fact that often there are too many of them and some contradict each other. The author recommends following the “rule of two minutes”: if a task does not take you more than two minutes, do not put it on the to-do list, but decide immediately.
Tip # 4. Follow the plan
Train yourself to act according to a plan. Set yourself daily, weekly or perpetual guidelines and follow them. If something unexpected has violated the intended course - look for a workaround. For example, make it a rule to run three times a week in the morning. You can choose any days, but if you run only once by Sunday, you will have to run twice this day. The main thing is to fulfill the plan. By the way, there are many interesting ways to help yourself in planning and executing your plans. One of the most effective is the Bullet journal system, invented by Rider Carroll.
Tip number 5. Do not postpone the case for later
If you have no objective reasons for not doing what you promised yourself today, do not delay. Get down to business as long as you can. Even if the body resists and you are too lazy to fulfill the intended - force yourself through "I do not want." Develop your volitional muscle. If everything is done on time or in advance, life becomes much more comfortable and a load of unfinished business ceases to put pressure on you.
Tip number 6. Spend the day as productively as possible
Find out everything you can do. Every day, do a certain amount of useful work; over time, you will take it into a habit, thereby increasing your productivity. The author of the bestseller "At the limit. A week without self-pity. ”Eric Bertrand Larssen proposes to spend a week doing what has prevented you from doing laziness, fear, uncollectibility. Seven days a week, get up and go to bed at the same time, and in a day, try to do what you have been planning for a long time, but what your hands did not reach. Such a weekly challenge will allow you to develop not only willpower but also discipline and concentration.
Tip number 7. Meditate
In the above-mentioned book by Kelly McGonigal about willpower, the author writes that meditation is one of the best methods of training her. Willpower is associated with a person's ability to focus on the task that must be performed while controlling the diffused consciousness. The flow of the most diverse information that comes to us from the mass media exacerbates this problem. Meditation will help train your self-awareness, the ability to abstract and focus your attention on the inner process. In our case - on the development of willpower.
Tip number 8. Motivate yourself
When you set a goal to do something, think up and how you will reward yourself for it. For every accomplishment please yourself with pleasant things. For example, you can create a wish-list, set a goal opposite each item, the fulfillment of which will mean that you can go shopping. Thoughts of reward will motivate you. Will power must not only be controlled by self-restraint but also encouraged. The greater the achieved result, the greater the reward.
Tip number 9. Do sports
Exercise, even in moderation, will help you develop willpower. The author of the famous marshmallow test (marshmallow experiment) Walter Michel in his book “Development of Willpower” advises not to start with a full-fledged workout in the hall using all the simulators: morning exercise and jogging will be enough. When you get used to the emergence of sports in your life, you can increase the load and go to the gym. The sport will help you overcome laziness, because daily workouts require perseverance, adherence to the day, look for methods and physical activity. An active lifestyle will add extra strength to your body to accomplish what you have planned.
Tip number 10. Do not do anything
If a large amount of work has accumulated, and you do not have the strength and desire to start, do not do anything. Put things off for later. You can look out the window or just sit on the couch, but do not let yourself sit down to read a book, watch a movie or social networks. Or doing work or nothing. Thus boredom will prevail and you will certainly have a desire to start work.
Tip number 11. Take the most important decisions in the morning.
Even Sigmund Freud argued that willpower and decision making depend on your energy supply. In the morning, its level is at a height, and during the day, and with each of your actions, it gradually falls. Therefore, the morning shortly after breakfast is the best time to make the most important decisions.
Tip number 12. Add sweet to maintain willpower
Blood glucose levels affect both willpower and the quality of decision making. Many Western businessmen make a small coffee break before making an important decision or make appointments for a light lunch, which includes dessert.
Tip number 13. Pause between decisions.
A series of continuous decisions and tests of willpower depletes energy reserves. That is why “shopping is tiring” is not coquetry, it is a fact. One study showed that a group of people after active shopping, who was offered a math test, gave up earlier than those who did not have to make numerous decisions before.
Tip number 14. Do not experience willpower in a state of fatigue or exhaustion.
Physical, mental or emotional exhaustion in most cases leads to bad decisions. You yourself know how hard it is to resist the temptation to skip a workout or drink at the end of a hard working day (which you wouldn't have done in the normal state).
Tip number 15. Raise habits that save energy for important decisions.
If you think that successful people have an inexhaustible supply of energy and can make decisions without stopping, you are mistaken. They cultivate effective habits and structure the routine in such a way that as many personal resources as possible remain to make decisions and maintain will power.
Tip number 16. Listen to the subconscious
Even the most conscious people of this planet turn to the subconscious before making important decisions. Our mind is able to take into account a limited number of factors, whereas the possibilities of the subconscious are much wider. The best way to answer your question is to sleep with him. If you are not able to postpone the decision until the morning - try to relax or briefly switch attention to hear what your subconscious tells you.
Tip number 17. Recognize the influence of the environment.
Whether you like it or not, the herd instinct really often works in us. Your family, friends, and colleagues at work constantly influence the nature of your decisions. If your best friend quit smoking, the chances of giving up cigarettes for you to increase by 34%. This also applies to the detrimental effect on willpower.
Tip number 18. Speak out loud about your decisions.
Discussing the issue that needs to be solved with the right people will help you decide quickly and efficiently. You do not need to take someone else's point of view - the process itself already contributes to nurturing the right decision.
Tip number 19. Allow yourself to make the wrong decisions sometimes.
Do not judge yourself if you suddenly fizzled out. Periodic errors will help you once again be convinced of the correctness of the decision and become more vigilant.
Tip number 20. Make a commitment to someone else.
In some cases, participation in the decision of a third party greatly helps your willpower. Instead of struggling with each time, making the decision to go to the gym, smart people hire a trainer or negotiate with a friend so that it is simply impossible to process.
Tip number 21. Know your weaknesses and work around them.
People with developed willpower do not subject it to constant testing. They avoid contact with non-constructive people. They do not go to buffets with buffets. They do not waste energy and are always ready and justified tests of willpower.
Tip number 22. Remember: willpower is in your hands.
“I have no willpower” is not an excuse, and now we know for sure. Be reasonable, listen to your body, use your subconscious, save energy, get enough sleep, cultivate the right habits, avoid unnecessary stress, unite with like-minded people and you will feel that willpower is a tool that helps everyone who knows how to handle it.
Our possibilities are truly endless, but in order to turn words into concrete actions and achieve our goals, we need to work on our willpower every day. It is scientifically proven that people with developed willpower live happier than those who do not exercise their willpower. Thanks to such a rod, they rapidly climb the career ladder, they know how to manage their emotions and overcome difficulties. Lack of will power is equivalent to a lack of freedom, which in turn negatively affects the quality of your life. Determine what is more important for you: live life with a question in your head “what if?” Or take control of your life and take small goals in order to achieve big goals? Willpower will give you this opportunity.