On a scale from one to ten, how much willpower do you have? Want to increase it to a level 20, 45 or 100?
Willpower is not some herculean, magical gift; it is something we use, weaken and exhaust almost every day. When should I get up? Do I exercise today? Should I eat this snack? Want to take your life to the next level, than start training your willpower.
We struggle between what we want now versus what we want for a future reward. To get those future rewards, we use willpower. Willpower has three elements: I will do something, I won’t do something and I want to have something or want to do something. The I will and I won’t deal with our logical-self, looking for our future gains (aka the rider). The I want seeks immediate gratification (aka the elephant). (Want to better understand the importance of your rider and elephant? Read here.) Sometimes, the I want combines your logical-self and emotional-self, which results in determined motivation. If willpower initially fortifies your motivation which ultimately changes a behavior into a habit, then training your willpower is key to living the life you want.
Willpower is like an expandable, rechargeable battery. During each day, you have a limited amount of willpower to use, and given recuperation, recharge. As with all changes, committing to do something is the first step. Commit to increase your willpower today.
Second, choose to do an action that you usually don’t do, which uses a focused concentration. Keeping track of a budget, practicing meditative deep breathing, monitoring your calorie consumption and beginning an exercise program are all proven to build your willpower. Studies show that building your willpower in one area gives you more willpower to use in other areas of your life. By super-sizing your willpower battery, it is similar to a keystone habit, where changing one habit affects other areas in your life. (More about keystone habits next time.)
Want to start living the life you want? Start training your willpower because it will affect every part of your life.
As always, I wish you the best to make each day countTM!