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How to boost your willpower

How to boost your willpower

What would you do if you had more willpower? Most of us would go to the gym more and stop eating sugar! So how do we get more of it?

Control your thoughts and attention

Willpower is learning which thoughts to listen to and which to ignore. Adults can develop willpower by exercising self-restraint repeatedly on a small task. Ignore the ‘hot’ voice telling you to give in and choose the ‘cooler’ background voice. This become a habit and you no longer have to make a conscious choice.

Focus on the pleasures of the task

It’s much easier to stick to something if you enjoy it. According to Professor Inzlicht in Toronto this is because willpower isn’t a loss of self-control. It’s a shift in priorities from what you “ought to do” from what you “want to do.  Surely there’s a great reason to find the right gym and enjoyable exercise?

Eat something

The brain needs a steady supply of glucose to perform at its best. Keep your blood-sugar level constant by eating small healthy meals throughout the day. A glass of lemonade worked for many people in one study. Getting enough rest also helps avoid brain fatigue.

Divide your tasks up

Tough jobs are easier to tackle in small chunks. Give yourself a nearby finishing- point and suddenly you’ve got that extra whoosh of willpower. For example, rather than forcing yourself to use the treadmill for 30 minutes, commit to 10 minutes and then change machines.

Get help

Enlisting support from others boosts your willpower. Talk to your friends and gym instructors. Even consider investing in a personal trainer if you’re really struggling.  Use internet forums and read professional advice.  

Visualise your goals

Picturing your goal is powerful way to get rid of unwanted habits, or start new ones. Many top athletes use visualisation as a way to improve their performance under pressure. Try imagining willpower as a colour which is pouring into you, raising your willpower ‘level’.

Feeling that willpower raging now? Go grab yourself a gym pass!