In A Better You, Health & Wellbeing

OP-ED: The Dummies Guide to Maintaining Willpower

Fought Bullying and coming out of that darkness? It is all about Maintaining Willpower

So you’ve made up your mind…you now know exactly who you are, what you’re aiming at and how to get it…but what about those moments (and they will come) when the road starts getting bumpy?

How do you maintain your upbeat approach, and keep your eye on the prize now that you’ve identified it?

You already have the resolution…now you just need the commitment.

And We are going to give you a few suggestions on how to make it happen:

Maintaining Willpower : First and foremost – is to keep it real

There’s a thin line between being dedicated, and becoming obsessed. So make sure you have a healthy attitude (know when you’re getting carried away, and pay attention to your actions and lifestyle) if you’re getting hints that one aspect of your life is being damaged by another- then start reconsidering.

Now that we’ve set that straight… it’s time to get upbeat!

Maintaining Willpower: pamper yourself regularly:

On average, we spend four hours each day actively resisting things we desire. Every time we refuse to succumb—say, by washing the dishes before watching TV or by holding our temper—our bodies draw on our store of glucose, which carries energy to the muscles and brain. When our glucose levels get low, our willpower weakens. To keep it high, eat regular meals that are full of protein and good carbohydrates, like a sandwich of lean meat and cheese packed between two slices of whole-wheat bread. And never start a challenging task on an empty stomach.
If food’s not your thing- think of simple ways to treat yourself; run yourself a hot bubble-bath, buy some fancy candles and indulge in aroma therapy, have a bar of really nice chocolate.

Even if you can’t afford any of that-be creative in finding something that brings pleasure to your senses (at the risk of sounding just like your parents, promise to be sensible, and keep it PG! –this is not a free-pass for you to mix your motives and end up in a mess)

Maintaining Willpower: Be creative:

In simpler terms: find something you do by habit, then do the opposite of it; just to push your limits- this doesn’t mean you have to step out of your comfort zone, but just take a step into your wild-side

Like a muscle, your resolve can be strengthened over time with practice, even if you’re not trying to correct a specific bad habit. Anytime you modify your routine, you’re developing self-control. For example, try to brush your teeth or open doors with your non-dominant hand. Once you’ve succeeded in making a tiny change, you can work towards accomplishing something more substantive. You’ll slip at first; then you’ll get the hang of it, and your perseverance will be strengthened

Maintaining Willpower : Choose a Reward in Advance

When changing your behavior (like trying to exercise each day), pick something—whether it’s a movie you’ve been dying to watch or relaxing on the couch for 30 minutes—that you’ll treat yourself to once you’ve accomplished your objective. It could be months before you enjoy exercise on its own merits. So, in the meantime, when you look at your running shoes, you should think, I’m going jogging because I want the prize that is waiting for me when I finish my workout. Placing all your attention on the end goal keeps you from being as focused on the pain or effort of the activity itself.

Maintaining Willpower : Anticipate Roadblocks

An essential part of any journey is facing its setbacks.

You might wonder “why me…what did I do to deserve this?”… now you should know it is all part of some sort of master plan intended to strengthen your resilience or maturity level and build character.

It is quite simple if you look at it: don’t think of your problems as adversities, but rather roadblocks at a 5k race- once you’re done with the first k, you’ll forget all about the obstacles you faced because you’ll be focused on the next stage.

So the trick is to come up with a tactic to help you cross as many obstacles as smoothly and efficiently as possible; as opposed to halting at each individual one.

Sure it’s hard to dive into the unknown, and set your mind a decade into the future- but that’s where faith kicks in.

So know that bad things are going to happen, and instead of wondering: “why me?” think “what am I going to do, and what can I get from this?”

Maintaining Willpower : Last but not least: relax!

Beating yourself up won’t get you anywhere, if you’re facing a crisis and there’s something you can do about it-then that’s great, if there isn’t then it’s out of your hands and not up to you to resolve it.

Know when you need to take charge, and when it’s time to just chill and let things sort themselves out.

There’s a thin line between reflecting on your actions, and being too hard on yourself – so make sure you don’t cross that line and end up a masochist.

Having balance is the only way you can have some peace of mind- is there anything really more important?

If you have a fidgety nature, then stop, take a deep breath in and exhale, remember, it is all about Maintaining Willpower. 

So remember to stop and smell the roses.

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