Boost your willpower with these 7 effective strategies
Do you often wonder if you are smart enough to achieve your goals? Well, the good part is willpower always wins over intelligence. Here are 7 effective ways to strengthen your willpower.
Dreams are a vital part of our lives. It not only gives our life a purpose but also motivates, inspires, improves, and helps us achieve any goal that we want to achieve. It leads us to our “calling” rather than just another “job.” But not all of us are gifted with exceptionally high levels of IQ. In such cases wondering: Am I really smart enough to achieve my dreams? is normal.
However, the question is if intelligence alone is the deciding factor in your dream’s realisation. Research from Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman shows that willpower is even more important than IQ. What exactly is willpower? It is nothing but the mental strength that enables individuals to resist short-term temptations and persevere toward long-term goals.
Ways to build willpower
Whether aiming to adopt healthier habits, pursue ambitious career objectives, or enhance personal relationships, having strong willpower is crucial for success. Hence, the focus shouldn’t be on becoming smarter, but on developing a disciplined self with robust willpower. In today’s article, we will explore seven effective ways of doing so. So, let’s start.
Get quality sleep
Though appears unconnected, your willpower heavily relies on the quality of your sleep at night. Quality sleep of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is recommended. Remember, either side of the extreme isn’t appreciated, so if less time is bad more time isn’t ideal either. The second thing that matters is the sleep timings. Sleeping and waking up at the same time daily, increases willpower.
Practice mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for building willpower by improving self-awareness and impulse control. These practices not only help you to stay in the present but also make it easier to resist distractions and prevent impulsive reactions.
Indulge in physical exercise
Indulging in daily exercise has both physical and mental health benefits. It shouldn’t necessarily mean spending hours and hours at the gym lifting heavy weights, a minimalist morning warm-up can do wonders. According to a study published online by the European Heart Journal, multiple short bouts (about two minutes each) of vigorous activity at different times throughout the day might be beneficial.
Take a cold shower
Well, it is proven that cold water activates the sympathetic nervous system, and increases blood pressure and noradrenaline. It can be a great mix for your body as well as your brain. However, the idea itself might not excite you a lot, especially during winter, so you can start with warm water and then lower the temperature at the end of the shower until you gradually shift to cold showers entirely.
Do important things early
Willpower isn’t unlimited, leading self-control researcher Roy Baumeister, has found that willpower is limited. It’s highest early in the day but as we make more decisions, it empties like a gas tank. The simplest conclusion is to start with the most important task of the day first.
Use the "If-then" planning technique
If-then planning is a strategy that involves pre-deciding how to handle potential obstacles. Here you anticipate challenges and determine your responses in advance. For example, if you want to avoid unhealthy food say "If I feel the urge to snack, I will eat a piece of fruit or drink a glass of water," this ensures you have an alternative prepared making it difficult for your brain to give an excuse and convince otherwise.
Procrastinate rather than deny
Research shows telling yourself “Not now, but later” is far more powerful than “No, you can’t have that.” So, instead of saying no to every distraction, just postpone it until the end of the day. There is a high chance you won’t act on those temptations as you would have used all your willpower on important things by then. In another case, even if you do act on them after finishing all your important work, think of it as a small reward for working hard the whole day.
The good part is that we can work towards building strong willpower by setting clear goals and developing positive habits, embracing discomfort. However, remember it is a gradual process that involves consistent effort, self-reflection, and a commitment to personal growth. So, if you wish to increase your chances of achieving long-term success, then you should be prepared to embrace each step that brings you closer to a more disciplined, resilient, and fulfilled life.