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How to Boost Your Willpower

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/good-thinking/201306/how-boost-your-willpower

psychologytoday.com

How to Boost Your Willpower
A growing body of evidence indicates that willpower and self-control are essential for a happy and successful life. The most persuasive evidence comes from two studies that measured young children's self-control, and then kept track of them as they grew into adults. The most well-known experiment, the " marshmallow experiment," began in the 1960s by psychologist Walter Mischel.

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Avoid willpower depletion

Avoid willpower depletion

Building willpower is similar to building muscle. Continually exercising without giving yourself a break is not the best way to increase your strength or performance.

Don't allow yourself to be in a position where you constantly have to exercise self-control. It will eventually deplete your resolve. Allow yourself some recovery time away from temptation.

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Use your imagination

Imagination can blunt the cravings that erode your self-control.

If you imagine lying on a peaceful beach, your body will respond by relaxing. If you imagine being late for an important meeting, your body will tense in response. Use this to your advantage in building willpower.

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Think about something else

You can even use your imagination to keep unwanted thoughts away.

Every time that unwanted thought occupies your mind, consciously think about something pleasant instead.

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Build good habits

When people are stressed, they tend to fall back on ingrained habits - regardless if they are helpful or harmful.
Start responding to mild stressors with better choices. The more you strengthen your habits, the more likely they will be there to rescue you when a major stressor comes along.

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One step at a time

One step at a time

People give up because they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal they must accomplish.

Break the goal down into manageable pieces and line them up in a sequence that guarantees that you will never put yourself in a state of willpower depletion.

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Be yourself

It takes an immense amount of effort to suppress your normal personality, preferences, and behaviors.

Hold true to your own internal goals and desires.

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Have a plan

Have a plan

People with high willpower use it to avoid getting themselves into a crisis.

If you can’t prevent temptation, make a plan in advance for what you are going to do instead of succumbing.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Willpower Depletion

Willpower Depletion

It is the idea that we place our willpower under much strain and as we put in much more effort into anything, the more it gets drained.

The consequence of ...

Roy Baumeister

Roy Baumeister

Self-control is a huge predictor of success or failure in life.

The Lab vs The Real World

  • Numerous studies have been performed by various researchers to indicate how real willpower depletion is and if it is even real at all.
  • Even with the contention of its existence, some areas of research are showing promising studies that we can exert control over our willpower through workouts or rituals.
  • It showed that even small, regular tests of willpower can give your self-control a lift. Willpower workouts don’t have to be especially taxing to have an effect.

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Self-Control

 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

Research on Self-Control

  • A 2011 survey found that 27 % of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals. 
  • One study found that students who exhibited greater self-discipline had better grades, higher test scores, and were more likely to be admitted to a competitive academic program. 
  • The study also found that when it came to academic success, self-control was a more important factor than IQ scores.
  • A health study found that people who were rated as having high levels of self-control during childhood continued to have high levels of physical and mental health in adulthood.
  • Research has found that self-control is a limited resource. In the long-term, exercising self-control tends to strengthen it. 

Motivation and Monitoring

A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.

  • There needs to be a clear goal and the motivation to change. Having an unclear or overly general goal and insufficient motivation can lead to failure.
  • You need to monitor your actions daily towards the achievement of the goal.
  • You need to have willpower.

Get More Sleep

Sleep deprivation makes you weak and tired. It has a direct impact on your focus and decision-making, whilst slowly exhausting your source of energy.

Sleep between 7.5 and 8....

Meditate

Meditation improves your attention, focus, self-awareness, and lower your stress levels.

Meditating for even just a few minutes every day will help you to clear your head while activating the areas of your brain related to decision-making and emotions.

Develop Good Habits

When we are stressed, we tend to unconsciously fall back on ingrained habits, whether they are helpful or harmful.

Creating good habits helps you get through stressful situations without affecting your willpower.