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Willpower training made easy – just try these 3 simple tips

Learning to resist all sorts of temptations is a lifelong task. We set out to strengthen our willpower, stick to our resolutions and deal with important tasks straight away. We learn not to give up. Many research studies also suggest that strong willpower is not something we are born with and that it can be trained.

However, the received wisdom that “if you want something badly enough, you will achieve it” doesn’t always cut it.

There are several techniques, or tips if you like, that can help you increase your willpower and avoid unnecessary stress, negativity and frustration.

Make a plan

If up to now your life strategy has mostly revolved around the art of improvisation, you won’t be very pleased to hear what’s coming next. Unless you have a clear plan, you are unlikely to achieve the goal you have set for yourself. And even if you do manage it, the journey towards that goal will most likely be a bumpy one with many twists and turns. So how to come up with a smart plan?

Apart from knowing WHAT you want, you should also have a clear idea about HOW you are going to achieve it, WHEN you will start, HOW LONG it might actually take, what BARRIERS might get in your way and also WHAT WILL HAPPEN once you have achieved your goal.

Put your answers to all these questions on paper. Don’t get too carried away dreaming up ideal scenarios that might just never materialize. Try to be realistic and also be prepared to face failures and obstacles that might come your way. Even the most strong-willed of us are not immune to being hit by a crisis, big or small.

One step at a time

So you have come up with a plan. You can see your start as well as your finishing line. If the distance between the two is too long, make sure you break it down into smaller sections. Not sure how? Let’s take a look at a concrete example of one of our clients, Mrs Eva, who has decided to lose weight.

Eva is 53 and sadly carries around 25 kilos in excess weight. I probably don’t need to tell you that to lose so much weight in one go is no easy task. The age doesn’t help either – the metabolism is slowing down, the hormonal levels are up and down and the exercise options are now more limited. That’s why Eva needs to break her plan down into smaller chunks. She will set a series of considerably smaller goals that will be much easier to achieve.

Every 5 kilos that Eva manages to lose will be considered a success for which Eva will reward herself. She might buy a good book, go to the theatre or cinema with her husband, buy herself something nice or treat herself to a cosmetic or wellness treatment.  The choice is hers. This will help her gain more confidence, make her feel proud of herself and provide a real boost to her motivation.

Is it now clear what I meant by a “step-by-step” approach and how important it can be for your plan?

Don’t keep your goal secret - tell everyone!KetoDiet| Janina Dvorakova's running challenge

A fear of failure or lack of motivation can easily be bypassed by a simple trick – just announce your goal to family and friends or your work colleagues. Post it on Facebook or Instagram and make a rod for your own back, as it were!

This is what I did when I decided to take up running. I didn’t feel I could pull it off just by myself, without the help of others. That’s why I decided to let the world know about my intention to clock up 100km in one month and a half and posted my goal on Instagram. By doing this, I received exactly the type of support and motivation I needed. I shared with others every kilometre I managed to do and every high and low that I experienced on my journey to reach the 100km mark. It worked amazingly. I managed to achieve something that at the beginning looked like an impossible challenge. It was hugely rewarding and I felt a great sense of pride.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying you should now go and throw yourself into sharing every single detail of your life on social media. All I am trying to do is to encourage you to come out of your comfortable shell and allow others to give you support.

Even just publicly announcing your goal will move you that little bit closer to actually achieving it.   

 

Author: Janina Dvořáková, Marketing Director & Nutrition specialist

Photos: Depositphotos, Janina Dvořáková

 

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