How to Increase Willpower and Be Mentally Tough
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.
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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 proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, to avoid the glucose rush.
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.
Rest reduces the body’s need for glucose, and it allows our bodies to make better use of what we have.
Self-control requires brainpower, and when we are tired, our bodies don’t deliver enough glucose to our brains.
An adult should sleep for 7-8 hours a night.
Steer clear from “danger spots” where temptation is present and willpower is necessary.
Good habits strengthen our willpower because they build self-discipline and self-control, and they spread to other areas of our life.
Start with something as simple as making your bed. This can have a positive effect on your willpower.
Making endless lists that cannot be completed leaves us worrying more than doing.
Make sure your "to-do" list is manageable.
We can “run out” of willpower and end up making poor decisions if we don’t allow ourselves to take breaks.
Rest from time to time. You will feel refreshed, have more willpower and produce better work.
When we become “mindful,” we are also engaging that part of our brain that we need for willpower.
Take 5 minutes and detach from the chaos around you.
Alcohol impairs judgment, reduces self-awareness, and impedes willpower.
Be mindful of how much you’ve had to drink when making decisions.
Having a pre-determined plan can significantly increase your willpower when presented with temptation.
Do you have a plan to deal with your temptations? Write out an action plan even if it is very simple.
When you consistently remind yourself why you are doing this, your willpower increases to stick to your plans.
Figure out what you are trying to accomplish. What will you lose if you give in to your bad habits?
Every time you change your routines, you are exercising self-control.
Start with small changes. When you succeed in making small changes, you develop the ability to take on much larger ones.
Our brain is hardwired to pursue positive rewards. Determine a reward in advance for making a change.
When you anticipate roadblocks in advance, you will have a stronger willpower to deal with them.
Consider what roadblocks may arise in your path.
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The willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. You want to do one thing, but know you shouldn’t. Or you know you should do something, but you’d rather do nothing.
The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us with things like decision-making and regulating our behavior, needs to be looked after.
Feed your brain with good-quality food so it has enough energy to do its job and get enough sleep.
Willpower is like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.
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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.
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.
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Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.
Nowhere is this more true than with food.
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