How to improve willpower: Tipps for a stronger self
Some people seem to achieve all of their goals with ease. Others find it difficult even with small goals. The reason is often a lack of willpower. Here’s how to improve your will power.
Surely you know someone who had his goals early in school and then enforced them without ifs and buts. But you probably know people who wouldn’t even be able to stop smoking for a day.
The mental willpower is indispensable for achieving one’s own goals. The luxury of being lazy and waiting for things to get better is something we can rarely afford.
What is willpower?
While “motivation” rather describes the driving force to strive for certain goals or things, the willpower (or volition) means the knowledgeable realization of exactly these goals through their own deeds. For example, your motivation might be a great car or a beautiful house in the country, while your willpower will make you do the things you need to achieve it. So here in the example make money.
This willpower has natural barriers to action that we all know too well. But we are also happy to seek excuses in destiny or that we aren’t as good as others. In most cases, it’s just a matter of convenience. For example, if we’d rather stay in bed for a while or simply postpone the sport to tomorrow.
Such a lack of willpower is neither innate nor irrevocably fixed in our genes. Rather, it is the result of our habits, which have at some point burned into our memory.
So it’s usually just the things that deviate from our usual activities, where we need a correspondingly strong willpower to make them different than before. We’re all creatures of habit.
How to improve willpower: Tips for your everyday life
The basis for a healthy willpower – as with all topics on motivation, happiness and satisfaction – is initially a positive attitude. If you don’t believe that you will achieve your goal, don’t try, you will fail.
“Whether you believe you can do something or you can not do something, you will always be right.”Henry Ford
Always assume that you achieve your goals. Only then will you work subconsciously towards it.
Override bad habits
It’s important to understand that your body needs a few days to get used to changes. After surviving this relatively short period of 3-4 weeks, your brain has already got used to it.
Set achievable goals
Many people fail because of their intentions, because their goal for the current time is too far away. You want to stop smoking at the turn of the year, or sleep 2 hours less in the future. You will no doubt confirm that it is difficult to go straight to non-smokers from 15 cigarettes a day.
Therefore, it’s important to divide the goal into stages. For example, get up a cigarette less or 5 minutes earlier each week (see also: SMART-Method). This way you can reach stage after stage and you’ll have success experiences that will pull you up. Believe me, every successful person does exactly that.
Goals, more precisely a motivation to have – such as the car or the house – are good and beautiful, but first only thoughts. Make sure you keep the goal in mind. Set up a picture of your dream home as a desktop or smartphone wallpaper, so you’ll always be reminded.
If you’re dissatisfied with your body, grab a photo of yourself that makes you feel awful about the character, the fridge or your gym bag. You will quickly notice what motivating effect such motives can unfold.
It’s also important that you don’t approach the thing too perfectionistly, e.g. that you don’t allow any slip-ups. Since we’re all human beings (fortunately) and don’t always work perfectly like a machine, those are going to come sooner or later, that’s normal. The only question then is how do you handle them?
It’s best if you plan such slip-ups, for example, by treating yourself to an unhealthy meal at the weekend. This is not an obstacle to your goals, and you have the reassuring thought throughout the week that you can treat yourself at the weekend.
If you miss the necessary willpower outside of this “planned slip-up” for a day, be sure to be fully back on the next day. Because as written in the topic about habits, you usually get used to it again and with each day it gets harder to get you up. You know that, when you One day was not in the sport and the next is much easier to find another excuse why you can not go there.
In a nutshell
While motivation describes what we strive for (our goals), the willpower, the so-called volition, is about our actions in order to achieve exactly these goals. The strength of this willpower is not innate or genetically fixed, but results primarily from our habits. Things that oppose these habits require a higher willpower to implement them accordingly.
In order to train our willpower, it is important that we set achievable goals, admit ourselves to being on the way there, and approach them with a positive attitude. Moreover, it is helpful to visualize one’s own goals and consciously override old habits.