5 Willpower Hacks That Will Bring You Success
Early one Monday morning in South Dakota. Stranded at the side of the road was a man. His car had run out of fuel on the highway.
He called the emergency services for help.
A Police officer turns up an hour later to assist. When he arrives the driver is acting in a bizarre manner. There appeared to be more going on with this driver than his lack of fuel.
Moments later the driver started getting erratic, and after a frantic struggle. The driver manages to hijack the officers squad car!
He speeds off in his newly acquired squad car and finds himself in a pursuit.
The chase goes on for hours.
After a long chase. He is apprehended.
But how did the man get caught? Well he ran out of fuel again!
Like running out of fuel in your car, the same can happen when you are trying to achieve your goals.
When your trying to achieve your goals you need willpower.
Willpower is the fuel for your goal and you only have a limited amount of it before it gets depleted.
In this article I am going to cover
- What is willpower?
- How to empty your full tank of willpower.
- 5 willpower hacks that will bring you success.
Lets take a look at what actually is willpower.
What is willpower?
The American Physiological Association calls willpower “the ability to resist short-term temptations to meet long-term goals.”
It could well be the biggest reason why you are not achieving your goals.
To achieve long-term success you must know what you want (Your goal)
You must then be determined to get it, even in difficult circumstances (Willpower)
You could say that a Goal + Willpower = Success
Lets say you wanted to lose weight.
To achieve this goal, you will need to eat less than what your body requires to operate. You are going to need to cut your calories down.
So what if you like your fair share of chocolate? Well if you want to lose weight you are going to need to eat less chocolate. It sounds simple, but why do you think people fail, why do they still eat chocolate?
They don’t have enough willpower!
How to empty your full tank of willpower
There are a lot of daily activities that are going to deplete your willpower.
- Making decisions
- Resisting Temptations
- Achieving goals
- Suppressing distractions
- Suppressing emotions
- Doing something you don’t enjoy
Lets go back to the losing weight example.
What could happen in a day that depletes your willpower?
You start the day with a full tank of willpower
What if you have 10 gallons of fuel in your tank? Here are some of ways your tank could deplete across the day.
- You are in the canteen at work and have a choice between the chocolate bar and the fruit — You choose the fruit (-1).
- Someone brings a box of chocolates over to your desk. They say you can have some if you want — You resist the temptation and continue working (-1).
- You start thinking about your goal and how hard its going to be to cut down chocolate (-1).
You could go on and on.. It won’t long until your willpower is empty. You get home from work and start snacking on the chocolate bar you hid in the draw.
It’s not only the decisions, temptations and distractions that take a toll on your willpower. You could have a bad day at work and that in itself will make it easier to give into temptation. It taps out your willpower.
How can we utilise our willpower?
5 willpower hacks that will bring you success
#1 Being aware of your own willpower
- Be aware of your fuel levels, respect it and learn about your own limits.
- You can get better at managing your willpower once you are aware of it. You get used to it, it’s like a muscle. Once you understand your limits and energy you get stronger. It’s not like working out at the gym and it’s not about working harder. It’s about working smarter and growing smarter.
#2 Remove distractions and choices
- Remove distractions from your environment so that you don’t need to rely on willpower to avoid them.
- If you want to eat healthier, don’t leave loads of unhealthy products in your house.
- Plan your day before so you have less (willpower deducting) choices to make the following day.
#3 Complete your tasks earlier in the day
- Its not about waking up at 5.00 am, unless you have loads of distractions.
- Get things done before you have used all your willpower up.
- Timing is everything, don’t run out of willpower.
#4 Tackle your important goals first
- Make sure you do the important stuff first. Don’t waste your energy on the less important things. Even ticking off even your small and easy things on your list uses willpower.
- Decide what your important tasks are. Plan these in first, and tick these off earlier in the day.
#5 Take breaks
- Willpower is a renewable source — e.g take time out from your activities, sleep on it or grab a healthy snack.
- Use the Pomodoro technique to stop you from depleting your willpower in one go.
- Sleep on a decision instead of spending all day thinking about it.
- Reward yourself with a pleasant activities once you have completed something tough (like your big goal)
- Eat something with glucose in it and refuel your mind
A long-term goal means nothing if it’s not backed up with short term action.
This is where your willpower truly comes into play.
Willpower helps you stay on track. It helps you resist short term temptations that could derail your long-term goals.
Like the driver that ran out of fuel twice. Don’t derail the progress on your goals because you are not using your willpower wisely.
Use it while you have it, and don’t let it run out before you have achieved your goals for today.
This brings us to the end of this article. If you enjoyed it then please make sure you sign up for my newsletter on my website. I send it out weekly and I provide daily motivation and tips to help you achieve you goals.
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