Behind every person’s success is often a well trained mind and an iron willpower. You may be like most people and often succumb to your urges by not practicing efficient willpower training. This however can be detrimental to your success. A lack of willpower will not only result in failed goals but also prevent you from ridding yourself of bad habits and enforcing healthier ones. Below are some practical willpower training tips to help you along your journey of controlling your mind through willpower:
Identify what habits or goals your are trying to achieve
The initial step in exercising your willpower is to first identify what habits you are trying to break or enforce. This can be a bad habit like smoking which you want to stop. It could also be a good habit like waking up earlier to practice mindfulness. Once you have identified what these are, the next step is to start a willpower journal. In this you will essentially put down three columns. The first column the habit; the second will be the reasoning behind wanting to break the habit; The third column will be the consecutive times you have overcome your urges to continue the habit (bad habit) or enforce the habit(good habit). It is important to start of with smaller habits to get yourself prepared mentally. If you have broken the chain of attempts, this count needs to re-initiate from start. Constantly update this column.
Willpower training to overcome urges
Whenever the temptation arises to fallback to old ways of doing things, think back to the second column in your journal. Imagine how the new habit you are forming or breaking can change your for the better. Will it make you physically, mentally or spiritually more enlightened? Now whenever this comes into your mind, use opposition thinking to push that negative thought aside and replace it with positive thoughts. If you can visualize the fruits of your labor, it will get you motivated again.
Practice negative or positive re-enforcement
Think back to school when you got a scolding for incomplete homework. Or when you got sweets for good behavior. These are examples of negative and positive re-enforcement respectively. What generally may have happened in these two cases were that you stopped doing the thing that made you get in trouble. Alternatively you continued to do the thing that made you get rewarded i.e. in the case of the sweets. In the same way, rewarding yourself for maintaining willpower or conversely punishing yourself every time you succumbed to the urges, will result in more adherence to the habits you set. In no time, the association caused by the re-enforcement will subconsciously keep you on track in maintaining proper habits.
Enforce positive pressure
A good willpower training tip is positive pressure. Tell people you care about that you are forming a new habit or breaking one. By doing this, you put it out in the open. This way people can call you out when they see that you are not following up on your commitment – In this way, you are more likely to stick to whatever commitment you have made.
Practice positive affirmations
Positive affirmations change your feeling and thoughts, which change your actions thus forming new habits allowing you to achieve goals and be more focused. Therefore the act of practicing positive affirmations like: ” I have the potential to achieve great things” repetitively can do wonders. It subconsciously puts you in the right frame of mind to achieve your goals.
According to research it takes approximately 21 days of repetition before an habit can be formed, however this period may increase for more difficult habits. Stick to these willpower training tips and you will be one step closer to achieving the goals you set.
To learn how to live life consciously and with a clear perspective; read this ultimate guide: A Mindful Approach To Self Actualization