Willpower is our ability to stick with something and to avoid unhealthy or tempting things. It is our self-control and determination. Willpower is important for goal achievement and to avoid unhealthy behaviors.
It is important to have confidence in your own abilities. This requires self-esteem. If you feel like you have a hard time avoiding unhealthy behaviors or believe that your own self-esteem or confidence levels may be low, then therapy may be beneficial. Therapy can help you improve your relationship with yourself. You can find a therapist online at BetterHelp.com. Therapy may be the best step towards improving your willpower.
Why is Willpower Important?
Willpower is important for accomplishment and success. In addition, it seems that high willpower is associated with higher self-esteem, better stress management, and even improved wellbeing.
Not only is willpower associated with controlling your own behaviors and avoiding temptations, but it is also related to the ability to delay gratification. This important aspect is associated with avoiding risky or unhealthy behaviors. Delayed gratification is the ability to wait longer in order to obtain the thing that you desire. For example, instead of eating a candy bar, you can delay the gratification until you reach your goal weight which will be gratifying and provide a sense of accomplishment. Basically, delayed gratification is the avoidance of short-term urges and desires to accomplish future rewards.
Willpower is important to continue to live a healthy lifestyle. What we eat is important to your overall health and willpower allows us to avoid unhealthy foods for the healthier options. Willpower also helps us to exercise regularly and stay on a good sleep schedule. Finally, it can help us stay productive without working too much. Willpower influences our behaviors all the time without us even realizing it.
Willpower is important for achieving a goal. However, there are other factors in play as well. First, you have to set a clear goal and actually want to achieve it. This is associated with your motivation levels. If you do not have enough motivation, then it likely does not matter how much willpower you have. If the goal is not clearly defined, then your chance of failure will increase. You should define the goal and your motivation for achieving that goal.
Also, it is important to track your progress and accomplishments on the way to achieve a goal. This is especially important for longer term goals. This helps you feel like your willpower and motivation are paying off and that you are making substantial progress. It also helps you stay on track to make sure you are doing the things you should be doing to reach the final goal.
Running Out of Willpower
Some people believe that you can run out of willpower and that you only have a certain amount at your disposal. If you overuse the willpower, you are more likely to run out which can lead to you giving in to an urge or immediate desire. However, there are some things that you can do to help improve your willpower as well.
Exercise Your Willpower
It is important to exercise your willpower to strengthen it without overusing it. You never want to deplete your willpower resources, but it is good to work it out. Try to set small goals that you can accomplish as long as you use some willpower. They do not have to be difficult as long as it takes some willpower to achieve them. This can help to gradually increase your willpower abilities.
Do not Overwhelm Yourself
It is important that you do not overload yourself by setting a lot of hefty goals at the same time. Focus on one or two large goals and once. You should also break each of those goals into smaller pieces. Set goals for each step of the journey to track your progress and give you a sense of accomplishment.
You can plan ahead for decisions that have not happened yet. This can help you avoid unhealthy behaviors because you will have a plan on how to avoid them set in stone. A lot of unhealthy decisions occur on impulse and if you have an alternative already planned out you will be less likely to give in to that impulsive desire.
When we are stressed out, then our energy levels tend to decrease. This can make us more likely to act on emotion or give in to impulses. If we learn to manage our stress levels, then we can improve our willpower.
One simple way to improve your stress management skills is to practice meditation. Mindfulness meditation can help to improve your willpower and self-control and you can easily add it into your daily routine. Just schedule five minutes during the day to start with and increase gradually. This can help you be more mindful about your decisions and help you avoid the stress that can lead to unhealthy behaviors.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important, but a lot of people still do not get enough. When we do not sleep well, then we will be more physically and mentally exhausted. This will harm our ability to resist urges and temptations. Make sure that you sleep well every night of the week for at least 7 hours. Everyone is different and requires different amounts of sleep so make sure that you are getting the amount you need to function properly.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal may also be beneficial for your willpower. You can write your motivators and exact goals. Try to write down different steps you need to make in order to reach the end goal. Once these little goals are written down, you can write the things that you have to do to achieve those goals. This can help you stay on track and improve your willpower as you work it out. When you get tempted, look at the journal at the motivators and the progress you have made.
Final Thoughts on Willpower
Some people do not think that they have any willpower, but there are things that anyone can do to improve their self-control. Try not to tackle too much at once. Doing so can deplete your willpower which will make you give in to temptation for instant gratification. Instead, break goals up into bite size chunks so that you can track your progress. You can also meditate to improve your stress management. Try to get enough sleep and eat healthy foods. Also, exercise regularly and stay focused on the end goal even if you need to keep a journal to do so.