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

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.

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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

7

Key Ideas

“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.

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. 

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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.

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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“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). 

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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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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.

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