I was recently talking to a friend of mine, and they wanted to know how I keep my strength and willpower. I laughed out loud; the reason why is because i didn’t feel that this stood out as much. However, I found it very pleasing to hear that… and it was a compliment that was well accepted. I continued to tell my friend that I was able to earn a way to keep myself motivated through a professor that I once had when I was going to college for my B.A. My professor taught me that I didn’t truly understand what willpower was at the time. The main things that should be practice are; finding your focus, eat for energy, peaceful rest, and plan ahead. This should be applied with all areas of life. So how do you strengthen your willpower? Simple, all you have to do is know that it is not a magical force we summon up only when we’re trying to do something like learn a new skill, diet, or workout. Instead, willpower is something we call on. This can be throughout the day every day. We are able to make decisions on things like “should I wear the black pants or the blue ones”. Just the other day I was able to tune out a phone conversation so I can focus on what I was doing; willpower is any act that requires self-control. My professor made me aware that the strongest time we can fine willpower is at the beginning of the day. I thought that was a bit odd but when I thought about it I could see this being true. We would have this stronger during the morning because your body’s energy is higher after a restful night of sleep. By the night time we are tired and our willpower will be weaker, we won’t want to do nothing but crawl in the bed and sleep. Struggling to resist temptations like eating, surfing the Web, spending money and etc. really takes a lot out of you; leaving us physically and emotionally drained. According to Kelly McGonigal PhD, a health psychologist at Stanford University and the author of The Willpower Instinct; said that “The brain uses more energy to curb your impulses than it does to perform other mental tasks.”
Here are some smart techniques for doing just that.
Find your focus.
If you need to find your focus at work or at home use earplugs or finding a room that you can close out noise in. Another idea would be turning off your cell phone ringer and silencing e-mail notifications.
Eat for energy.
The more often you consume good-for-you food, the more willpower you’ll have. Studies have shown that people whose blood sugar (aka glucose) is elevated to a healthy level, as it is after regular meals, have more self-control and can more easily resist junk food. “When your blood sugar is low, it’s harder to control your impulses,” McGonigal says. Need an immediate willpower boost? “Some baby carrots or a handful of raisins will do the trick. These foods are naturally high in sugar and will raise your glucose supply almost instantly, helping fuel your brain. To keep yourself willpowered all day, eat healthy meals or snacks every four hours. Choose foods that have a combo of protein, fiber, and complex carbs, like a salad with tofu, nuts, spinach, and tomatoes, or Greek yogurt with fruit.
This one is the most important, when you cut down on the number of decisions you have to make every day; your willpower muscle will automatically get stronger. This is very true; here recently I have been faced with a lot of decision making I can find the willpower to get through what I need to do. As soon as I planned a way to tackle the many task that I needed to decide on I was able to see that it was easier to focus and I didn’t feel as tired. So reducing the number of choices you have to make in any 24-hour period is healthier.
- ‘Willpower’ as a Part of Healthy Living. (betterwithsprinklesblog.com)
- 19 Reasons Why Willpower Fails You, And What To Do About It (forbes.com)
- ‘Willpower’ Part 2. (betterwithsprinklesblog.com)