Willpower and Motivation

Posted: September 1, 2016 in Motivation
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Willpower and MotivationPhoto license

Willpower is doing whatever it takes to reach your long term goals. It is also avoiding what you should not do. It is both achievement and abstinence.

Self-discipline has been found to be a key factor in success. You can succeed without it, of course. Maybe you’ll luck out on a good job or have a nice lotto win. Joking and luck aside, you are more likely to achieve what you want when you have strong willpower.

Steps in using willpower:

1. Decide why you want to change, your motivation, and set clear goals.

2. Monitor your actions as you move toward those goals.

3. Exercise your willpower to keep on track.

Willpower is cognitive, not emotional. Don’t let your emotions take over. If you’re guided by what you feel like doing, you’ll go off track. What is your goal? What must you do to achieve it? It doesn’t matter how you feel about the task right now. It’s how you will feel when you succeed. Let logic win.

Take Control

Willpower is a conscious effort of the self to control the self. Does it sound like I’m describing a split personality. We all have left-brain right-brain thinking as part of our personality but it’s integrated in normal people like you and I. It is not so integrated as to eliminate choice. Do you follow the emotional creative impulse or the logical orderly side? Let logic dictate your action and use both logic and emotional creativity in your life’s work.

Willpower is Limited

Willpower can be used up. Keeping busy is one way to avoid constantly falling into thinking patterns that will use up your willpower. It takes an act of willpower to start on a difficult task that moves you toward your goals. Once you’ve begun, it takes little willpower to keep going. While a task that moves you toward a goal is new and difficult, put large blocks of time into it so that you don’t need to keep exercising your willpower to get started again.

If you don’t believe willpower is limited, your willpower will not be depleted as fast. Why did I tell you it’s limited then? I should have kept my mouth shut. The trick is to believe that your willpower is not limited, but you’ll take the necessary steps to ensure strong willpower anyway.

Strengthening Your Willpower

Willpower depletion is less of a problem if the reason for exerting your willpower aligns with your personal goals and desires. A master plan that reminds you why each task is necessary to achieve your goal can go a long way toward keeping your willpower strong.

Research has found that ingesting sugar in food or drink can help restore willpower. There are limits to what’s healthy, so plan your sugar input for when you’ll need willpower. Exercise can help burn off extra sugar and it reduces depression, the next point.

Anything that puts you in a good mood will help restore your willpower. A beer on a hot day, a coffee on a cold one, or a visit with friends. Any short term activity that improves your mood preps you for working on your goal.

“Out of sight, out of mind” can help you exert willpower over things you want to avoid. Work away from the TV and phone. Leave the internet off if you don’t need it for your work.

It has been found that even when willpower seems to have been run down there is still more in reserve. Thus, higher motivation may improve willpower.

While exercising willpower depletes it, the practice also improves your ability to use your willpower. Your willpower becomes stronger.

Once willpower has been used long enough to make a desire change into a habit, you won’t need willpower to re-enforce the habit. You can use your willpower for the next challenge.

Will you put your willpower to work and achieve your goals faster?

Article by Ivan Izo.


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