How to Gain WillpowerFeb 02, 2022
What is willpower? It's the power to do what we need to do when we don't want to do it. That might sound like a contradiction, but it's not. We all have things we need to do but don't necessarily want to do, such as getting out of bed early in the morning, going to the gym, or studying for a test. Whatever it is, willpower is what helps us get it done. This blog post will discuss how you can increase your willpower and achieve your goals.
What is willpower?
Willpower is related to motivation, and they are both necessary to help us achieve our goals. However, there is a difference. They might sound the same, but they work differently for us. Motivation works for the long term in that it serves as the reason or force why we would like to do something, and different types of motivation can aid us in striving for our goals. Willpower works more for the short term and refers to a person's ability to control his actions and emotions when deciding to do something. Willpower is the one at play when we resist urges and temptations and force ourselves to do something we don't want but have to because it is essential. So no matter how good your motivation is, if you don't have enough willpower to do the things necessary to achieve your goals, you won't get any closer to fulfilling any of your dreams.
According to experts, willpower is like a muscle that you can train. So we can build up the willpower we can have for a certain amount of time before it runs out. Yes, willpower is a limited resource, and no matter how good you are at self-control and discipline, stress and fatigue will drain your willpower over time. However, there are several ways to improve your willpower, and all of them can help you in decision-making and overcoming bad habits to achieve your long-term goals in life.
1. Learn to manage stress
We mentioned that stress is one of the culprits that can drain your willpower over time. If so, you must then learn how to manage stress effectively in your life. Many things in life can stress us. We must either avoid them as much as possible or figure out a way to solve them so we can get them out of the way. A little bit of stress in life is normal, but your physical and mental health takes a toll when your stress levels get high, or you become chronically stressed in life. When your health takes a beating, it can affect your willpower, so eliminate or lessen stress in your life as much as you can.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleeping for enough hours is crucial to maintaining our willpower at a reasonable level every day. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is a thing, and many people suffer. One cannot stress the importance of sleep enough. Sleeping the required number of hours daily for your age group helps you stay healthy, so you are always ready to tackle tasks the next day.
3. Learn how to delay gratification
Practicing to delay gratification is an exercise that can strengthen your willpower. The temptation to indulge in things is strong, especially if it's in your reach, and your mind is the only thing preventing you from taking or doing something. Problems arise when we make rash decisions for the sake of obtaining something or taking in the pleasure of doing something bad for us. Ask yourself if there is an urgent need to indulge in something and whether it's essential and beneficial. It's not easy conditioning ourselves to have this kind of mentality, but we must learn not to take the path of gratification every time it's available to us. Sometimes, putting off things will be better for us despite feeling bad for not indulging.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Trying to multitask and take on several goals all at once can be overwhelming and drain your willpower faster. It's like using a smartphone or a laptop with multiple applications running and open simultaneously, which results in faster battery drain. Instead, select one goal that you would like to work on, be it something small, urgent, or achievable in a short time, and focus all your willpower working on that goal. However, if you think you can handle other tasks while working on one goal, do so as long as you know how to manage yourself and don't end up draining yourself.
5. Avoid temptations if you can
Willpower is busy at work whenever we have to make decisions if we are going to say yes or no to something that we like but goes against a goal of ours that will provide benefits in the long run. For example, if your goal is to become fit and reduce weight, you might like to resist the temptation of going out with your friend to dine in restaurants. If your goal is to quit drinking alcoholic beverages, you can try avoiding going out for a while with your peers when you know that the occasion will involve drinking sessions. Mastering the art of politely saying "no" can help a lot when trying to avoid any event that presents a temptation to you.
6. Reward yourself at set intervals
One may indulge in temptations because it takes too long before you get the reward you want that you can only obtain after finishing a big goal. Who says that you can only enjoy yourself once you finish something grand? You can resist temptation better by giving yourself small rewards at set intervals. Set milestones while working on your big projects, and reward yourself whenever you accomplish any milestone. Learning to reward yourself can help sustain your momentum and willpower to continue working on a goal until you achieve it.
7. Take breaks regularly
Besides giving yourself rewards at set intervals, taking regular breaks is essential to improve your willpower. No one has infinite energy to keep on working for a long time. We all have our limits. Breaks are vital in that they allow us to maintain our momentum working on a goal by taking us away for a moment from what we are doing so we can get back refreshed and ready to take on the job again.
Increase your willpower to achieve more success in your life
Generally, taking care of your health well, developing healthy habits, and not overworking yourself all help us gain more willpower. We will all stumble at some point due to the obstacles and problems we encounter in life. You can always look back at your reason why you are doing something as a way to build your willpower. Increasing your willpower and tolerance for pressure to prevent willpower from draining takes time, but once you do, making decisions and resisting what's bad for us will be more manageable. All of these will only lead to success in your life.