We all have a will. Our will is what makes us take action after we made a decision. So when you decide to go for an evening walk, it's your will that gets you up and out the door. If a person has an iron will, that just means when they set a goal, they don't let anything stop them from achieving it and they stay focused on the path towards their goal. Now a weak-willed person on the other hand, either hesitates to act or doesn't even take action on their own decision they make. A weak-willed person is usually indecisive and easily persuaded since they don't have their mind made up most of the time. A trait amongst the weak-willed is they too often have ideas and talks of big goals, but will easily give up on them once the thought of a complication comes to mind and then eventually forget about them. Success requires a will that is determined to take necessary action, doesn't avoid problems but solves them, is willing to take on challenges along the way and is persistent to push through until the mission is complete.
To simplify the definition, willpower just means doing what you said you would do even if you don't feel like doing it. That could mean doing something that you know is good for you or not doing something that you know you shouldn't do or don't want to do anymore. Having a strong willpower means that you are loyal to your words and act in favor of the decisions you made for yourself. For example, if you decided last month that you will only have bread once a week, then in order for you to strengthen your willpower, all you need to do is to stick to that decision you made a month ago and avoid bread 6 days a week. If you tell yourself "Starting Monday, I'm going to be active at least 30 minutes a day", then you better make sure to get moving even after a mentally-exhausting day at work. Just because it is simple, doesn't mean that it's easy. It takes a lot of focus and giving yourself reminders of your goals throughout the day. It takes 1 or more big reasons to stay committed to your goals that you set for yourself.
Remaining loyal to the decisions you make not only strengthens your willpower, but also builds trust with yourself.
The challenge of strengthening your willpower requires time and focus. You may be thinking that you're not the kind of person that can have a strong willpower, but I was wrong about myself and you're wrong to think that of yourself too. Having a strong willpower just means listening to the part of you that believes in you and wants the best for you, and not listening to the part of you that wants to keep you the same by keeping you safe and comfy with doing a whole lot of nothing. We can all, with belief, patience and practice, build ourselves up to have a super strong willpower that toughs it out through dark difficult times because deep down you know that quitting is the only way to failure. And remaining loyal to your word to yourself is the simple and effective way of building up that Willpower muscle!
1. Start Small
In order to power up a big, heavy locomotive train, it requires so much power and energy just to barely get it moving. But once that big Choo-Choo starts rolling, the new energy that gets put into it really starts to pick the speed up. It's actually very similar to making your willpower stronger; it requires lots of focused energy at first and it all seems very heavy, but if you remain loyal to your words to your self, then slowly but surely taking the right action on your choices gets easier and easier. Build momentum and willpower strength by starting with the small things. Set small goals, remain true to your word to yourself and take action on your goals. When it comes to healthy eating, for some of us its best just to replace an unhealthy food item we usually eat with a healthy one instead of fully diving into a diet that changes your whole lifestyle making it difficult to stick to. When it comes to getting your body some exercise, instead of committing to an hour a day for a 5-day workout plan, start slow by focusing on getting 15 minutes of active movement every day of the week. Build momentum slowly by starting small to get your train moving. Once you get moving in the right direction, it becomes easier and easier to keep pushing forward. Just as the law states, "an object in motion will stay in motion", so keep your momentum train in motion by sticking to your goals even at the times you don't feel like it. When we start small with our goals, we build momentum and positive energy that leads to higher success towards our goals. See how good it feels for yourself! Start small and get your train moving!
2. Celebrate Along The Way
When you start making the right decisions and actions towards your goals, then you really start to build confidence in yourself and you gain that momentum. Once you've jumped over a few mental hurdles like politely-denying sweets from co-workers or pushing yourself to get up and outside for the walk around the block after work, it is then you should really take the time to pause - and give yourself a jumping High Five and pat on the back! Seriously! Take the time to celebrate your victories along the way because you know what? Only you know how mind-bendingly difficult it is to do something that your emotions and feelings not up for! Let alone something that may not be so easy and is still fairly new to you. Take time to give yourself some credit and remind yourself, "I CAN do hard things". Now am I saying for you to reward yourself with a cheat meal or an entire cheat day? Heck No! That would reverse all your hard work and weaken that growing willpower of yours! I'm just saying for you to stop and reflect on your accomplishments, and remind yourself that you're doing the things you've avoided for so long. You've already accomplished things you probably didn't think you could do. With all that focus and energy you put into sticking to your word, you got that big heavy momentum train rolling! Choo-Chooooo!
Now a critically important part of this step is to not get a big head or overly confident because if you do, you will get blindsided by one of life's unexpected blows. You must remind yourself that this is only the beginning of your journey and there are much greater challenges ahead waiting to test you. So stay focused and prepare for the upcoming challenges along your path to success.
3. Shout it from the mountain top!
Share your feel-good news with others! What makes this effective is that by sharing good news and updates on your goals, you declare it publicly, which makes sticking to your word much more serious business. So sharing it with others make the journey much more real and exciting. A big perk is you get to find accountability partners along the way too, and having a someone at your side with similar goals is one of the greatest success boosters.
Plus, I think its safe to say that everyone loves good news and that nobody likes a complainer. So instead of being like a Sad Sally who whines and complains about the traffic, weather and minor speedbumps she lets ruin her day, you can share updates on how you're losing weight and how great you're feeling in the process! Not only do you get the satisfaction of talking about yourself in a good way, but you'll likely be inspiring the person your talking to, whether it be a parent, friend or co-worker. You can ask around, but there isn't a better feeling you get when it comes from helping another human being. Sometimes sharing good news in your life is just what others need to help them with their own struggles and goals. Be the light in this darkened world for those who live in your world by being the one who shares good news, speaks positively and is happily in control of their life.
Keep in mind, you might often find that people may be flat out surprised about you sticking to your goals or may not even be supportive to it, but we cannot give anyone the power to dim your light. Getting over people's negative talk is an obstacle itself and we know that obstacles are expected along our journey. You control your thoughts and attitude, so keep your thoughts positive and remind yourself Who you're doing this for and Why you're sticking to your goals. Just give it focused energy and time, and you can transform yourself
from a weak-willed indecisive person with no self-control into a confident MindStrong individual with the super strong willpower that consistently crushes goals.
"Having a strong willpower is remaining loyal to yourself by doing what you said you would do even if you don't feel like it."
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