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“If there’s a will, there’s a way” may be true, but if that will isn’t strong, you may not get your way. Today’s world requires a lot of willpower if you want success, as life is full of many mental challenges and barriers that one needs to overcome. The good news is that many studies equate willpower to that of a muscle – the more you work it out, the stronger it becomes. The following are a list of willpower strengthening exercises you can do on your own. But be warned, they’re not easy and ironically – take some willpower to get through. But if you stick with it, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it becomes to stick to that diet, not lose your temper, or achieve any goal you’ve got set in your mind.
The latest and greatest, and yet, oldest form of practice there is. Meditation is all about training the mind to wander less, and focus more. Focus, which is exactly at willpower’s core. 10 minutes a day is all you need to see drastic improvements in your ability to focus on your goals.
Fix Your Posture
One thing researchers do to test a person’s willpower is to ask them to work on their posture for a period of 2 weeks. Every time the catch themselves slouching, they’re supposed to correct it by sitting up straight. Research has shown that this single test, greatly improves one’s willpower over just those 2 short weeks.
Keep A Diary
One of the most effective things you can do is keeping track of your progress. Whether it’s a diet, a New Year’s resolution, or some new exercise program – keeping a diary of what you did, and were supposed to do, is extremely effective in keeping you on track. The more you make notes of your progress, the more progress you’ll make.
Use Your Other Hand
Doing the harder thing, makes doing hard things easier. And rather interesting, using your opposite hand more, trains your brain to focus and get better at doing something it’s not used to doing. Same as with that posture study, the more you practice this opposite hand exercise, the more your willpower will grow.
Correct Your Speech
Do you say “hey” instead of “hello”, or “wanna” instead of “want to”? Research has also shown that fixing your speech can also fix your willpower. By simply correcting the urge to speak casually and more formally, you will find that in just 2 weeks, other habits you want to change will also start to stick.
Think back to your college days. Remember what cramming for that exam was like? Well your willpower strengthens the more you try to tune out distractions and become more productive. By setting deadlines, you’re forcing yourself to focus – and your willpower – to get stronger.
Watch Your Spending
Just like keeping that diary, keeping track of your spending is also an effective willpower exercise. So start a budget, keep track of your account balances, credit cards, even the loose change on your desk. Not only will you gain more willpower, you’ll also save more money.
Squeeze A Stress Ball
Are you already squeezing one of those stress balls to relax? If so, good. If not, start squeezing one today. The idea here is that you’re supposed to feel that forearm burn, and then, using your willpower to keep squeezing through the pain. After all, that’s what willpower is all about – “No pain, no gain.”
Carry Something Tempting
Willpower is more about saying “No”, than “Yes”. By carrying around something that tempts you – be it money you want to spend, or candy you want to eat – you’ll constantly have to say no to yourself. The more you can deny yourself something that’s right in front of you, the stronger your power to say no to other things grows too.
Watch Your Automatic Response
Here’s a good one; watch what happens the next time you get a text message. Notice how you instantly reach for your phone – no matter what you’re doing (like driving). Just being mindful of your automatic responses to distracting things is just another form of meditation, and just as effective at increasing your willpower.