Boost your willpower
Some people can resist these mouth-watering temptations. Lucky them. But it seems almost impossible for the most of us. But there is good news. There are some techniques that can help boost your willpower and handle your weakness without feeling you’re missing out or being deprived.
First of all, what is willpower? Many people think it’s some kind of an innate quality. But that’s not true. Willpower is a skill, which you can develop and then choose to use. No matter how good we are at self-control “naturally” we can definitely improve our self-control skills. And there’s no more need to envy your friend who wakes up at 6am every morning for a run, or doesn’t eat sugar or fast food, because you can do it, too.
But it’s just not enough to be really determined to do something. You need to use strategies to ensure you avoid temptation and get the long-term reward you’re really after. Have you ever heard about the concept of hot and cold systems? It shows our reactions to high-temptation situations. Let’s take the hot system – it’s when you love something and cannot resist it and grab it right away. It’s all about the present moment, and when it takes over, you can forget those long term goals. But in order to change the situation we need to reverse these processes – we need to start cooling the present and heating the future. We hope you’re ready to reach your goals, whether it’s losing extra weight, staying away from chocolate or running a marathon. Here are some great techniques to help boost your willpower for good.
1. Push the temptation away
One of the most effective ways is to “cool” your temptation is to physically and mentally push it away from you, and bring your long-term goals closer. If someone at work offers you a chocolate bar or cookies, make sure these treats as far away from you as possible. And then think about your future vacation, imagining how attractive you’ll look in a bikini on some beach. You can even go to Google and find some pictures of your favorite destinations, or go to a store after work to look for a perfect bikini. You got the idea.
2. If, then
This is very simple, but effective technique, where “if” is a trigger (feeling too hungry at night, feeling too tired to exercise, etc.), and “then” is a distraction strategy that will help you resist those temptations. For example, you say: If I’m too tired to exercise this morning, then I’ll walk home from work instead of driving the car and will use stair instead of lifts the whole day. Or: If I feel hungry at night, then I’ll go and drink a glass of water.
3. Think visually
Do you know what’s great? You can visualize the negative consequences of giving into temptation. Visualize your imperfect body in a bikini on the beach after you rewarded yourself with all these sweet treats whenever possible the whole year. Unpleasant, right? But imagining the future in the present moment can be a powerful tool for resisting temptation. A good well-known tactic is to find a picture of someone with a body you want to have and pin it on a fridge door, it will prevent you from overeating, eating the wrong food, or skipping your exercise routine. It works the same way for every other temptation.
4. Be the third person
Another great technique is to imagine yourself someone else (even a fly on the wall) in the situation. This way will give you an opportunity to remove yourself from the ‘hot’ impulses and give yourself the space to think calmly and rationally.
5. Enjoy the rewards
When you start to succeed in achieving your goals – whether it’s a new slimmer body or an increased endurance – the benefits give you such a great reward so it becomes easier and easier for you to go further. Praise you for each triumph, every new achievement to your long-term goal, because it deserves a little celebration. It would be great to keep a journal where you will record all your results. That technique is very motivational and encouraging.
Remember that the key to maintaining a great willpower is always a practice.
And another important moment: in order to really achieve something and all these given techniques really work, you have TO WANT to change, to do something. Without your passionate desire it all means nothing and simply will not work. So, before you take on a big goal, ensure that it’s something you really want.