How To Work Out Your Willpower Muscle
Mentally strong is the new sexy.
These days people are all about going to the gym, getting in shape to look and feel good. And that's great! But just as much as physical fitness there is such thing as mental strength and there is a way to work out to improve that. And even though you can’t see it, it's at least equally as, if not more important strive to improve all that's going on behind a pretty face.
So what is a willpower muscle, you ask? Well, it’s not literally a muscle, but it's helpful to imagine it as such because this way you can picture it and work on it to improve it just like a muscle. And despite the fact that you can’t see it you will be able to see the progress clearly in your day to day life.
You truly need to be able to give yourself clear rules and directions when it feels so truly natural to give in to the longing and just do whatever it is it demands. It’s truly brain/mind against instincts/body when it comes to those things. And often we don't realize we're allowing ourself things, we don't want to do or should do if we think about it. So the first step is to analyze the way you make decisions. If you do something, do you think about what would be best at the moment, what you should do? Or do you just let your instincts and body take control? More often then you think we know we should do one thing but do something else. So the first thing you should do, is to stop and ask yourself: Is this what I'm deciding to do right now?
I have come up with a couple of exercises that I do myself that I find definitely help so much with self-control and willpower. Things you can do every day and if you wake up that awareness and you will see how good or bad you actually are at it.
Resist: cookie jar, resist picking your skin. Resist your comfortable looking bed. (obvs not to lose weight or to punish yourself, just for training, not for a diet.) (also good little in between exercise: resisting an itch)
Follow through: Once you start something, finish it! No matter how it turns out, finish it! It's so important. It will teach you and give you experience and eventually you will only start what you intend to finish and what's worth your time. And that's a great skill to have.
Hold yourself accountable.: If you make Plans, even when it's just with and for yourself, stick to it. If there isn't a good reason that causes you to change your plans, stick to it!
Stop: Stop doing something you enjoy at the time you told yourself you would. When you take a break from work, time it and stop immediately and continue with what you are doing, stop picking at your skin (!), stop watching a TV show after an episode, etc....
Start: If the thought even crosses your mind that you should do something right now, get up and do it. Don't let any time pass with that feeling. Do it immediately without thinking about it too much. Try to get quicker and quicker.
Overcome: the little voice that tells you it's more comfortable if you don't. Example: shower cold in the end. You know it feels much better if you come out of the shower after and it's good for your immune system, but it's tough to do it. So decide to do it in the beginning and again: hold yourself accountable!
Bear in mind: your own mind is often tricking you in ways that you think are coming from you. It would tell you for example: 'oh this exercise is stupid. Of course, I could not eat this cookie if I wanted to, but why would I want to? It doesn't really matter.'
So get to work, ladies! Let's get ready for summer our way. This way we are ready for autumn, winter and all the seasons for the rest of our lives!