3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Willpower
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I do that? Why don’t I have more control over myself?” It seems to happen when we do something to give ourselves short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term pain.
Overeating, spending money that should never been spent, staying up too late, procrastinating, and being lazy are all good examples of the types of behaviors that cause us to wish we had more willpower.
Try these tips to give you more self-control over your behavior:
1. Plan ahead for your periods of low self-control. Be smart. If you know you tend to overeat at night, perhaps you could have several healthy snacks available when you those inevitable munchies come along. Some find that having a larger breakfast will make the evening hours easier.
2. The more you use your willpower, the more willpower you will have to use. Think of willpower as a muscle. By pushing yourself to use your willpower on a regular basis, your willpower muscle will get stronger.
For example, working on your taxes early or pushing yourself to clean the garage will make your will power muscles stronger. A bonus is that both of these tasks have rewarding, tangible results.
3. Eat healthy. Studies have shown low blood sugar can dramatically decrease willpower. Your brain simply needs a certain amount of glucose available for maximum self-control.
Being successful long-term requires self-reflection and planning. The way you’ve behaved in the past is a great predictor of the future. Unless you consciously change something, you will probably get the same result.
Always remember that willpower is a short-term resource used to plow through any challenge you might be facing. It is not a long-term solution. For the long-term, it’s helpful to establish new habits that support what you desire.
Everyone wants more willpower. By following these three tips, your willpower is sure to increase. Start improving your willpower today and you’ll enjoy the benefits from now on.