Ever heard of Willpower? Apparently if you have it then you are more likely to succeed and be happier in life! But just how do we become motivated? How do we harness this thing known as ‘willpower’?
- Talk to Yourself. What? Isn’t that a little strange? No, not at all, in fact ask any successful athlete and they will tell you that they talk to themselves before the big game, or race. It is how athletes pump themselves up. Lawyers do it before a court case, the great speakers of the world do it before they get in front of a crowd. So go ahead and feel free to talk to yourself, tell yourself that you can do it! Tell yourself that you have what it takes! Tell yourself that you deserve great things! Tell yourself that you are going to kick butt! Pump yourself up.
- Use your imagination. Imagination is a powerful tool that us humans have. Did you know that our body can react to imagined scenarios as affectively as real ones? Think about meditation here, if you do a meditation practice and imagine lying in a hammock over a trickling river, listening to sweet bird calls, feeling the warmth of the dappled sun through the canopy of the forrest, then you can actually lower your heart rate and calm your breathing as effectively as if you were actually there. On the flip side if you imagine something really scary, like spiders crawling all over your bed and one starts up your back, another drops into your hair, you can raise your heart rate and actually feel fear, even though you are only imagining it! So if you imagine that you are succeeding at a goal you will actually be strengthening your mind to believe it is possible and therefore you are more likely to succeed, pretty cool right?
- Make specific goals. Know what it is you are working towards and what it is you want. But make them realistic, obtainable and have a realistic time frame. Work on goals constantly, and like I said make them realistic. If you make goals you can reach, and then make more, you will move forward with confidence. If you set unobtainable, ridiculous or unhealthy goals you set yourself up to fail, and you lose willpower along the way. Be smart when making goals!
- Have boundaries in your personal life. Stop saying ‘yes’ to everyone else when it means saying ‘no’ to yourself! Let people know you are there for them, but that sometimes you have to say no. It can be hard with kids so set time aside for them where your attention is solely on them, and then let them know when it is your ‘work time’, even if it means heading to the library to study, or to a cafe where you can work away from them. Hard if you don’t have childcare handy, but kids are smart and can learn to respect boundaries if they are reinforced for their positive behaviour.
- Find a way to be accountable. If there is no one to hold you accountable to your goals it is easier to just give up, or become complacent. A great way is to set up rewards for successes. You could buy something you really want, but don’t allow yourself to have it yet. Tell your friend to hold on to it and not give it to you until your essay is complete, or you have run 1 kilometre, or you have completed that art class you said you would do. Find an accountability buddy!
- Willpower is like a muscle, so exercise it. The more you use it, the bigger it becomes! Start small and build it up. Keep exercising that muscle and soon it will barely take any effort. Slowly say no to that overindulgence, and it will get easier.
- Don’t put yourself in the way of temptation. There will always be times that it is hard to avoid situations that put you in the face of temptation. But if you know you can’t resist buying chocolate then try to avoid the chocolate aisle at the supermarket. If you know you find it hard to not get distracted by TV shows then try to avoid getting into a new television series until your essay, or book, or whatever it is you have to do is completed. If you know you can’t help buying a dress every-time you go into an expensive shop then stay away from that shop until you are out of financial difficulty. Willpower is awesome, but you don’t have to over temp yourself unnecessarily.
Remember to be kind to yourself and believe that you deserve good things. You deserve to have your dreams come true.
I hope these tips help, do you have any tips to help build up willpower?
Thanks for joining me, love Mac xx