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14 tips to have more willpower

14 tips to have more willpower

July 19, 2024

The end of the year is approaching and with it the typical list of purposes for 2018. Within that wish list, in a large number of cases we will find old acquaintances such as "going to the gym", "losing weight", "give up smoking". Some purposes that as a rule are abandoned soon after they start to be carried out, or that they are not even intended to comply with.

The reason for this? There can be many, but if we leave the excuses aside we find that One of the biggest obstacles is the lack of willpower .

And it can be difficult to maintain, given that in everyday life, situations abound that can lead to discouragement and stop working for something. Therefore, in this article we are going to talk about how to have more willpower.

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The importance of willpower

All or almost all of us know or have an idea about what willpower is, being easy to find some example of this capacity or of its absence. But in order to improve the understanding of what we are proposing to increase, it is useful to make a brief definition about the concept we are talking about.

Willpower is understood as that ability or ability to pursue a specific goal despite the existence of obstacles , difficulties and distractors. It is not about knowing how to reach the goal itself, but about persisting in the desire to achieve it, even though we may not know how to face the difficulties that prevent us from reaching it. We would therefore be faced with the idea of ​​not giving in to our pretensions, not giving up and persevering even if we do not see immediate results.

Will power usually correlates positively with the ability to delay gratification: people who are able to postpone obtaining a reward in order to be rewarded later with something that especially motivates them.

Let's look at the examples in the first paragraph of this article: lose weight or go to the gym. The objective is something desired and rewarding for those who mark it as a goal, but it requires an ongoing effort over time which can be relatively prolonged. And in between there are going to be continual temptations in the form of food, drink, plans or obstacles like fatigue and even suffering.

The same happens with those who want to quit smoking: they know that it is something they want to quit, but taking a cigarette gives them immediate satisfaction. Only those people who are able to resist the temptation to obtain an immediate reinforcement to achieve their goal they will persist until they reach their goal (although they may have a specific drop).

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Tips to have more willpower

Willpower, in short, is an important skill that is highly valued socially, personally and also in the workplace and academia. But not something that appears out of nowhere, but rather a psychological capacity that it is acquired and promoted throughout life .

In this sense, we can carry out different activities to improve the strength of will. Some strategies and actions that can help us are the following.

1. Propose clear objectives

One of the possible reasons why you can not maintain the willpower to do something is ignorance and lack of security in what we want . Propose clear objectives and know how to carry them out is essential and helps us generate enough motivation and willpower to pursue them.

2. Be realistic

Another major problem that most people have is that they want immediate and unrealistic results. I want to lose 15 kilos in a month or I want to stop doing something that I've been doing for the last ten years in a moment. People who already have a strong willpower base could achieve it , but the majority of the population should keep in mind that to achieve something they are not usually shortcuts and that a sustained and prolonged effort is required over time. Take into account previous experiences and adjust your expectations regarding what it may cost you to achieve your goal.

3. Step by step: divide tasks into subtasks

Something very useful to achieve your goals and at the same time reinforce your willpower is Divide your goal into different steps, phases or subtasks . Identify and create short and medium term objectives that allow reaching the final objective.

4. Establish a planing

The opposite to the previous point can also be a problem: setting a goal to meet in an indeterminate period of time can lead us to procrastinate and do nothing. That is why it is highly advisable to establish a prior planning of the time we are going to dedicate to a specific objective and strive to fulfill it.In this way we will advance in our objective, and the knowledge of this fact will strengthen the motivation to move forward .

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5. Keep a record

Related to the previous point, another of the means that can facilitate strengthening our willpower and reaching our goals is to carry out a record of our activity, so that we can assess our achievements and progress .

6. Give yourself small rewards

Achieving something from the pull is very complicated. Self-gratify as we move forward in the achievement of objectives (as long as such self-gratification does not go against the final goal itself) can serve to preserve and strengthen our motivation.

7. Do not do everything at once

We all have many goals throughout life. However, if we aim to find a partner, play sports, be more productive at work, lose weight, sign up for a cooking course and do three masters and two doctorates we will end up doing nothing or running out. We must bear in mind that we can not do everything at once . And much less if what we try is to train will power: the most advisable and healthy is to identify one element at a time and focus on it.

8. Meditation

The practice of meditation contributes greatly to strengthening willpower, relativizing the importance of things and seeing the world from a more focused perspective. In fact, it has been shown how the usual practice of meditation decreases stress levels and even contributes to improve the synaptic connectivity of brain regions, such as the prefrontal.

9. Exhibition

One of the ways to train willpower is, precisely, to expose yourself to stimuli that put it to the test. It is about favoring that we have to resist temptation. For this it may be useful to begin by exposing ourselves to situations that, although they are tempting, do not generate an immediate and irresistible need for us, little by little and as we see that we can resist proceeding to expose ourselves to elements that cause us greater attraction.

It is possible to expose ourselves directly to the elements that we find hard to resist, but with this we also risk not being able to support it and favor that rather than increase the strength of will it diminishes. If applied correctly and achieved, this method also helps us improve our sense of competence and self-efficacy , which can also contribute to increase self-esteem.

10. Give yourself positive self-instructions

Generally, by doing anything, various self-verbalizations about what to do and how come to mind.

Frequently, these self-instructions include mental and emotional contents and expectations about the result (for example, if we are going to do it right or wrong, if we are going to achieve our goal or not, etc.). Try to make these instructions positive and include messages that reinforce and positively consider one's capacity can eventually make us feel more capable and strength of will increase.

11. Find a role model

One way to strengthen willpower is to inspire you in people you cherish and admire . Learn about them and their way of doing things and achieve their goals. Observing the presence of great willpower can help us to try to imitate it and strengthen our own.

12. Relativize and accept falls

As much as we have willpower, we can all fall at some point when we forget our goal or we have a moment of weakness in which we do the opposite of what we intend.

This can lead us to blame , feel unprofitable and finally to discourage and abandon. A good idea to increase our willpower is, although it seems contradictory, to accept that we can fail and have some moment of weakness. Of course, without exceeding ourselves in being self-indulgent: it's about not crushing yourself if a fall occurs, not letting it happen without more.

13. Better accompanied

Maintaining the motivation and willpower to achieve an objective is complicated. Receiving external support in the process or establishing a shared goal facilitates an additional difficulty in falling into temptation. On the other hand, It also depends on the attitude of each one If someone continually tempts you to abandon your goal, it will become a challenge to your willpower.

14. Exercise

What for many people is an objective to fulfill can also serve to help us increase the willpower to do others. Tightening and loosening the muscles can help us strengthen not only our body but also our mind, releasing endorphins and improving our sense of competence . In addition, it requires an effort that makes part of our attention deviate from the possible temptation.

Top 10 ways to build your willpower (and why you should care!) (July 2024).

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