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7 Ways You Can Easily Increase Your Willpower - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

“Keystone” Habits

The primary keystone habit is regular exercise. People who exercise habitually start changing other unrelated patterns in their lives, even unknowingly. They eat better, use their credit card less, are more productive at work and more patient.

Food journaling is another keystone habit. Just write down everything you eat, every day.

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7 Ways You Can Easily Increase Your Willpower - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

7 Ways You Can Easily Increase Your Willpower - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/07/willpower/

bakadesuyo.com

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Key Ideas

Do the most important things first

Willpower is limited. It is highest early in the day but decreases as we make more decisions. Most self-control failures happen at night.

Do the most important things first. As the day goes on it will only get harder to face big challenges.

Don't Use Willpower

Research shows we don’t use much willpower when something is a habit.

Build new habits by manipulating your environment so as to make what you should do easy and what you shouldn’t do hard. Remove the cookies from eyesight and put your running shoes next to the bed.

Build Willpower

Willpower is like a muscle. When you overuse it, it gets tired. But exercising it over time will make it stronger.

You want to rely on habits and exercise willpower steadily.

Eat And Sleep

Improving willpower is as easy as eating and getting enough sleep.

Adults who routinely shortchange themselves on sleep have less self-control.

Procrastinating

Postpone your temptation to gain discipline.

Tell yourself "not now, but later." It is more powerful than denying yourself something.

Cut yourself some slack

The reality is that you will give in to temptation. What is important is what you do after you fail.

Don't blame yourself. It reduces self-control. Showing self-compassion increases it.

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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.

Do...

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.

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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Protein rich meals

The brain is a decision making muscle and needs to be sufficiently fed to provide the necessary willpower.

Eat meals at regular intervals. The meals should contain healthy ...

Slow and steady

Willpower can be increased, but it is a slow and gradual process (just like increasing muscle mass).

Real change requires one small start at a time.

Dark chocolate

Sometimes we are in a position where we need to make a quick decision, and it feels tough.

Take a bite of dark chocolate to help boost your willpower.

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“Positive” Procrastination

At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren’t) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t). 

...

Dashes

dash is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute.

The first thing is to take one minute and just write down the steps you need to do to finish the task - just a rough draft, at first, and that’s it. 

Now there is nothing else to think about, and there is no way to screw this task up. Everything is laid out and you can just start working on it.

Commitment Devices

First, give your friend $100. If you get the task done by 5 PM, you get your $100 back. If it doesn’t, you lose the $100.

Or make it $200 that the friend doesn’t keep — they donate it to some weird organizations, in your name.

Get the picture? That’s a commitment device.

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