Willpower is not something that we are born with, but it is something that we can learn. Every day we are plagued with decisions- to have a salad or to indulge in a loaded cheeseburger, to save your extra earnings or to spend it frivolously.
We all have a voice of reason, but there’s also the constant temptation to give in to instant gratification. It’s pretty much like the old cartoons with the devil and angel resting on our shoulders. The devil tells us to go ahead and live in the now.
The angel reminds us that we have a bigger picture to look at and to not do anything we will regret later. To get you through these struggles, here are some secrets to building your own willpower.
1. Make a list
Create a checklist of the goals you wish to achieve. Take some time to ponder these goals and make a plan of how you will reach them. Each time you hit a milestone, give yourself a little reward. You can never go wrong with a chart and those precious little gold stars! You could even record it on tape or make a video. Whatever your method, write it down!
2. Believe in yourself
If you tell yourself you can’t do something, chances are you won’t be able to achieve much or anything at all for that matter. If you smile, keep your head up, and believe that you can, you will act accordingly and surpass your goals. We are all told as children, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” It really does hold truth, so stay positive, my friend!
3. Don’t give up
Life is going to throw you some curve balls. You’re going to get the urge to dodge every one…don’t! Keep on swinging! Once you get through the obstacles, it is a cake walk. You’ll be able to maneuver through any situation as a better, stronger person.
4. Don’t blame anyone else but yourself
If something goes wrong, don’t go around pointing fingers as to who’s to blame. Instead, look in the mirror. Your own decisions determine the outcome of situations in your life. By accepting full responsibility, you learn to act in a healthy manner. You’ll also be able to keep strong relationships with those around you.
5. Be open to change
To say that change is scary would be an understatement. Change is more like hurling yourself down a flight of stairs. It is painful in the beginning and happens so fast. Change stirs up a whirlwind of emotions and is not built for comfort. That’s the beauty of it. Once you’ve made it through the rain, there is a rainbow waiting for you on the other side.
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Stay Focused with a remainder on your wrist.
6. Don’t neglect your feelings
Why is it that when we get dumped in a relationship or hear terrible news our first reaction is to turn to food? Maybe it is a giant tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or an extra large pizza with ALL of the toppings. It just feels like a right fit…..but it’s not. Failure is inevitable. You’re going to fall. You’re going to get hurt, but you’re going to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse called life. Do not attempt to “eat your feelings”. All it does is fuel the monster. Get up and do something that makes you laugh. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing ever is!
7. Don’t compare yourself to others
The worst thing to do is to envy what others have and you do not. You can surely admire someone else’s hard work, but never ever judge or compare the material things. You’ll only do more damage than good. This happens every single day. People look to celebrities and see that they are either extremely rich or they have a “perfect body.” Sure, everyone wants to have chiseled abs and a full bank account, but don’t take that to an unhealthy level.
8. Everything is not black and white
Life is not based on passing and failing. It’s about learning from your experience. Don’t expect everything in your life to be perfect. Instead, work on improvement. Take in each mistake with a grain of salt and move forward. When we stop focusing on the chance of failure, we can progress.
9. Learn to love yourself
This is probably the one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do or learn to do. Loving yourself means being able to look past all of your flaws and seeing the beautiful person you truly are. We’ve been conditioned to punish ourselves for every negative interaction we’ve ever had. Forget that. Forget every terrible thought you’ve had about yourself. It’s about thinking positively from now on. No better way to start than to eat nutritiously, work hard for what you want, and to get up and exercise. After all, a healthy you is a happy you.
10. Be open to new possibilities
Good things happen every day to all kinds of people. It’s not like winning the lottery, and it is not about luck. It’s about what you put out in the world. If you continue to send out positive vibes, it will reflect in your daily life. Of course you have to keep an open mind because these opportunities come in different forms. You just have to keep your eyes on the prize!
Willpower is not about being robotic or giving up dessert completely. It is about indulging in the things that you love but not destroying your ultimate goals in the process.
For some, willpower feels natural, as if they could life a completely healthy lifestyle and manage through any situation with ease. For the rest of us that struggle every day, keep in mind that it is a process. It does not come over night, but it happens over time.
Utilize these tips to move forward, and you’ll be able to do anything. Remember, willpower is about staying positive and believing in yourself!