Listen and Read: Building Your Willpower Muscles
If you do some searching around the Internet, you will see a number of interesting studies that have been conducted on the habit of “willpower” as being an important predictor of success in life.
In general, people who exercise more self-control (in all different types of situations) are more likely to produce better results in life, health, family, business, and so on.
Many of the studies actually show that a person’s willpower acts like a muscle that can be developed and strengthened with practice.
Here are some suggested activities you can try to strengthen your own willpower or self-control “muscles”…
- Try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. It might start off feeling very awkward, but as you work on the habit, you improve your ability while increasing your self-control.
- Change your reactions. For example, if you have the habit of reacting with anger when something doesn’t go your way, choose to practice changing your reaction to something more positive. Each experience creates a new habit and reinforces your willpower muscles.
- Read or listen to books about personal development daily (ideally at the same time each day). The more you analyze your habits and behaviors, the more you will see opportunities for change and improvement.
- Replace every drink with water. This is a great habit for anyone who wants to improve their health. If you normally have a soda, coffee or commercial juice, make the conscious decision to replace it with water. Each choice strengthens your self-control muscles and contributes to better health.
- Practice proper breathing. As often as possible throughout the day, focus on deep breathing into your diaphragm rather than short breaths that often come as a result of stress.
- Adjust your posture. By repeatedly correcting your posture, you not only improve the health of your body (and particularly your spine), you also create an opportunity to form a new habit that comes from the development of your willpower.
These are just a few examples that you can use and adapt into your own self-control regimen.
The key is to find activities that are important to you and will move you towards some specific goal you have in your life.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is the enjoyment factor.
If you are working on your willpower strength but the entire time, you feel like it is punishment or painful, the chance of you maintaining your new habit is slim.
So take some time today to think of some new activities you can build into your life that help you build your willpower and self control.
Remember to have fun with it, see it as a tool to help you become more successful and don’t forget to forgive yourself if you happen to sway off track once in a while.