If you want to get things done, you need willpower. Learn how to boost your willpower and inner strength. Here are three strategies you can use today.
Some people are born achievers. The Enneagram of Personality shows us how personality type threes have a natural drive to get things done. However, all of the nine personality types can still meet goals and achieve the same performance levels. We need to learn how to tap into this energy to increase our mental currency. So, here’s how to do it.
How to Boost Your Willpower
Willpower is the driving force to help us overcome obstacles and achieve objectives. It motivates and sustains us to accomplish goals. We can recognize people who push through adversity while others succumb to the role of the victim. There are three things everyone can do to bolster the source of your strength.
1. Willpower Is Like Money in a Bank Account
“Baumeister says that people who succeed don’t have more willpower than you: they just develop better daily routines and habits, which after a while become automatic and require less thought — less conscious energy.” ― Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need
Willpower is like money in a bank account. It has a limited supply. On any day, you have only so much to spend. If you are like most people, you have things to do. Most people have goals and dreams to accomplish. To reach them, you need to know how to boost your willpower as much as possible. It’s our valuable mental currency. It provides the focus to achieve goals. So, most people want to increase it. You’ll need to amplify your willpower to help keep you on track.
For example, the goal is to live a healthy lifestyle. It involves eating the proper diet and exercising daily. To accomplish this requires willpower and inner strength. It requires eating healthy foods. Sometimes the foods that taste the best aren’t healthy. So you must either pack a healthy lunch or go to a restaurant that serves the type of food supporting your diet. You also plan to go to the gym after work to exercise.
These are excellent plans. You know from experience you need to plan lunch. Otherwise, you may eat things you shouldn’t like pizza. When you fail to eat the correct type of lunch, you are less likely to go to the gym. It will deplete the source of your strength.
So, when you stick to your plan and resist the temptation, this is a deposit into the willpower bank. Thus, enabling you to be more likely to go to the gym. Making a deposit increases the likelihood of making more deposits, reinforcing the goal to live a healthy lifestyle. The greater your bank account, the stronger you are in resisting temptations.
If or when you fail, don’t worry. Stay on track—start again. You have willpower reserves to keep you from being over-critical. Because when you beat yourself up for failing, chances are you’ll continue to fail. That’s why you need to amplify your willpower.
Learn from the failure. If you plan the proper lunch, co-workers ask you to join them at the local pizza joint. You don’t want to say no because you want to build good working relationships. So, plan and see if the pizza place has other things on the menu that fit your calorie budget, like salads.
Our intention drives willpower. To grow our willpower bank account, we must learn to set our “intent.” You can do this by using SMART goals and monitoring your self-talk.
Goals are the most direct and positive ways to create positive behaviors and set our intention. Writing down your goals increases the likelihood you’ll reach them 3X more than if you don’t. Smart is an acronym for goals:
- Time-oriented or time-sensitive
“Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the Source) beckon intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers always accomplish what they set out to do.
In the universe, there is an unmeasurable, indescribable force which sorcerers call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link.” ― Wayne Dyer
2. Willpower and Inner Strength Are Muscles
Muscles will grow more vital if you subject them to the right amount of resistance. Willpower is like a muscle. You will encounter resistance to whatever goal you have set. However, by pushing back, you grow stronger, enabling you to take on more significant challenges. The source of your strength is the resisting force. Adversity and difficulties can become the motivation to achieve if we build our willpower.
“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” ― Charles Duhigg, The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
The above example of resisting the temptation to eat pizza for lunch applies here. Planning and eating a healthy lunch builds your willpower’s strength. The resistance is the temptation to eat pizza for lunch.
The resistance may show up after work. After a long day, you are tired. It’s hard to go to the gym when you are tired. So, this may require you to make a withdrawal from your willpower reserve. It’s a challenge that will come up again each day.
You’ll have opportunities throughout the day to make deposits and withdrawals, to build or deplete your willpower. Above all, project thoughts with hope and allow yourself to become vulnerable. Open your eyes to social injustice.
It’s important to set short-term or incremental goals that are realistic. Much like muscles, if you set the goal too high, you won’t meet the challenge. If the goal or challenge is too large, it can be a demotivator. So, instead of building muscle and getting stronger, lofty goals can become a source of discouragement, thus, degrading your willpower. That doesn’t mean you should not have big dreams, and it just means you need to break them down into small goals. Now, onto the following observation.
3. Attitude Affects The Source of Your Strength
There is an essential connection between attitude, emotions, and willpower. The ability to turn down pizza for lunch is one example. Sometimes the relationship is not apparent. But there is a significant link here.
A stressful day at work can affect attitude and emotions. It weakens your willpower and inner strength, and you give in to the temptation to have pizza for lunch, making it harder to go to the gym.
The first and most important thing to remember is that we all fail. So, we get off track. So, put things in perspective. Start again. Start over again. Using affirmations helps keep your attitude from becoming a pessimistic downward spiral. However, be sure you plant them into good ground. Practice self-care and exercises to increase your willpower.
The key is being “present” enough to realize what’s going on with your attitude and emotions and making the course correction necessary. Even if you’ve given in and have pizza for lunch, which will happen because we are all human and are apt to fail, however, you can still make it a win for your willpower by finding the strength to go to the gym. Or, if you have a bad day and eat pizza and fail to go to the gym, don’t beat yourself up. Start over again the next day.
A pattern of unmet goals likely results from unhealthy patterns of behavior. So, short-term stretch goals are an excellent strategy to help get back on track. If you can’t make it all week without pizza, then try making it for at least three days.
When you make it three days next week, set the goal for four days. Then stretch the objective from a week to ten days and so on. This strategy works for any objective. It reinforces the ability to reach stretch goals. It becomes a pattern for building willpower and inner strength.
If you want to know how to boost your willpower quickly, take a deep breath and change your attitude about the situation. It starts with a beginner’s frame of mind, always ready to learn and grow. That will help you see the best solution.
“Those who understand others are intelligent
Those who understand themselves are enlightened
Those who overcome others have strength
Those who overcome themselves are powerful
Those who know contentment are wealthy
Those who proceed vigorously have willpower
Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity” ― Lao Tzu
Learn to Amplify Your Willpower!
Your willpower is money in a bank account. And you have goals and dreams to accomplish. So, you’ll need as much of this mental currency as possible. If you want to know how to boost your willpower quickly, remember it starts with a beginner’s attitude. Set SMART goals, and learn from your failures. Do the things you need to do to increase your internal strength and resolve.
“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon
It’s not that we lack willpower; we forget to cultivate it. In that sense, it is also like a garden. If we want things to grow, we must tend the garden properly.
Learn how to amplify your willpower and inner strength, and you’ll be able to meet the goals you set.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia