Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We’ve all heard it, but have you ever taken a moment to really contemplate just how true it is?
Before your willpower to keep reading gets smattered, know that there is hope if you’re suffering from battery drain. New research shows willpower is not something you’re born with, but is actually a limited resource that can be tapped into and improved with time.
To take full advantage of your willpower, you first have to know when it’s at its peak.
Find the Height of Your Will
Willpower ebbs and flows throughout the day based on a number of factors. So, to help get the most out of your “will there’s a way” attitude, here’s when your willpower is likely to be at its highest.
1. When you’re well rested.
2. When you’re in a good mood.
3. When your energy levels are up.
4. When you’re in a calm environment.
5. When you’re not distracted by temptations.
6. When you’re not emotionally compromised.
7. When you’re passionate about your project.
Now that we have a better idea of when willpower is on the upswing, we can use it to our advantage and put willpower where it will do the most good.
Maximize Your Willpower’s Potential
Willpower is closely connected to success in all facets of life from academics to relationships. Those who display strong self-control are more likely to reach the goals they set for themselves. If you’re ready to get serious about setting yourself up for success, maximizing your willpower is a must. Here are some tricks of the trade to up your potential.
- Time block for your ONE Thing when your willpower is at it’s highest. This is most likely to be at the beginning of the day when you haven’t yet had the chance to deplete your willpower.
- Reserve willpower for when you need it most. Willpower is not infinite. Therefore, it is most effective when it’s reserved for priorities. For example, instead of making multiple New Years resolutions, just focus on the ONE Thing that’s most important to you.
- Focus on willpower intensive activities when you’re energy is up. When you’re well rested and nourished your energy levels will be at their peak – and so will your self-control.
The three steps above will help you make the most of the willpower you already have, but is your willpower at full capacity? Let’s explore the idea of increasing your willpower reserves.
Boost Your Self-Control, Boost Your Willpower
We know willpower isn’t constant, and we’ve talked about when it’s highest and how to maximize its potential, but did you know there are also ways to give it a boost when you feel willpower starting to slip?
- Feed Your Willpower. Food doesn’t just fuel your body, it also fuels your willpower. A recent research study conducted at Florida State University found that when participants’ glucose levels dipped, so did their ability to fight off temptations. FSU psychology professor Dr. Roy Baumeister added that willpower requires energy just like any other activity.
Don’t skip meals or you’ll likely see willpower wane. Instead try to eat several small meals throughout the day, and focus on keeping your glucose levels regular.
- Keep Focused. Distractions are the quickest path to downhill willpower. Remaining focused on long-term future goals will give you the extra willpower needed to push past temptations that are present.
Use positive visualization to see your long-term accomplishments rather than the temptation that’s in front of you. Studies from the University of Minnesota have found that positive thoughts and visualization can strengthen your resolve to stay on track.
- Control Your Emotions. Giving into temptations is impulsive and emotional, whereas willpower is a reason-based cognitive process. By getting a better hold over your emotions you’ll resist the urge to act impulsively.
Refocus your thought of the reward. People with low willpower show more activity in the ventral striatum, which is thought to be related to processing rewards. Take a moment to think of the short-term reward versus the long-term rewards.
- Put Temptations Out of Sight. If you come across a temptation, walk away. The out of sight out of mind concept plays a huge role in resisting temptations.
Practicing willpower will improve your self-control. Make working out your willpower muscles a short-term goal to better your chances to meeting long-term goals. You can use the ONE Thing resources to create and track goals, which is a proven way to increase your rate of success.
Original Source: http://the1thing.wpengine.com/66-day-challenge/66-day-challenge-how-to-use-your-energy-to-your-advantage