A lot of people tend to think of willpower as something you either have or you don’t. Here’s good news for those who don’t seem to have willpower — it’s something that can be worked at.
You heard me! Willpower is something you can practice and get better at. Whether you’ve got a snacking problem or you constantly find yourself watching Netflix when you should be working (pointing at myself this time), there are ways you can strengthen your willpower muscles.
Check out the tips listed below to tap into your inner power.
Consider Willpower a Muscle
Everyone knows that exercising makes you stronger, but we also know that working out excessively can damage your muscles and leave you too sore to continue. Willpower is no different. You have to recognize that it’s a resource that can be depleted.
If you know you have something coming up that’s going to test your resolve, you need to avoid other willpower-consuming events. Reserve your willpower until you need it. Giving yourself an “exercise break” is important, as pushing yourself too far increases your chances of failure.
Set Better Goals
Setting clear goals is one way you can stack the odds of success in your favor. Having the motivation to change is only the first step towards exercising your willpower. After telling yourself that you need to change you have to set clear-cut goals that will help you achieve your long term plans.
Let’s say you have a first date with the dreamiest of men. Your goal is to enjoy your date but not invite him in “for coffee” at the end of the night. Why is this your goal? Telling yourself why the goals you’ve set matter and what the overall desired outcome is will help you stay strong.
State your goal and plainly explain to yourself why you’ve set that goal and what the reward will be for meeting that goal. Example: You do not want to sleep with Mr. Handsome on your first date, because you know more than likely you’re really craving the emotional attachment sex provides. The benefits of meeting your goal are forming healthy emotional attachments with your date, decreasing the risks of sexually transmitted diseases from a new partner and building excitement about the second date.
Tell Others About Your Goals
This tip probably doesn’t apply to not inviting your date inside but in other situations, this is a solid plan. Letting your friends and other people around you know about your goals can build you a support network. Strong-willed friends can increase your self-control.
If you’re trying to stop downing doughnuts, consider telling your coworkers. If you know Linda likes to bring in sugary snacks for everyone, take her aside and say “Hey, I’m trying to not eat as much junk food. I appreciate you asking me if I’d like a doughnut but I think it would be easier for me to resist temptation if you just didn’t mention them.” Linda might think you’re a little weird but chances are decent she’s going to respect your boundaries. She might even feel inspired to try kicking her sweet tooth habits, too.
Tap Into Your Other Power
Forget about willpower for a second and tap into your other strength — Girl Power. Women absolutely have a strength that’s all our own. Believing in yourself and your abilities goes a long way towards helping you reach your goals. Think about the women who have inspired you and what you can do to inspire other women. Turn on a girl power playlist and start pumping yourself up to face the day. Someone has to be the hero, right? Do you think Xena got to be the badass warrior princess she is by spending gym day lounging on the couch? As if.
Regardless of what your goals are, you have to believe that you’re capable of achieving them. The power that women have within them never ceases to amaze me. From climbing corporate ladders in male-dominated fields to bringing new life into the world, women truly are paragons of strength. Tapping into your unique strength will help you meet and exceed goals you set for yourself. As the all-powerful Beyoncé says, girls run the world — don’t let anyone forget it.