7 Tips to increase your willpower

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:May 27, 2015

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Willpower is like a muscle that gets stronger with regular use. We can actually change and improve our willpower, even if it’s feeble. Here are 7 tips to improve your willpower and leave poor habits behind.
  • 1

    We are always short on willpower

    Trying to resist that piece of chocolate after dinner or forcing yourself to go for a walk every morning—will power is never quite enough for things that we struggle with. The battle against temptation always seems lost but not anymore because you can actually increase your willpower and bring positive changes in your life. Here are some tips to help you increase your willpower.

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  • 2

    Feed your brain properly

    Your brain needs regular, protein-rich meals, so never skip meals. Your foods should ideally be low-glycaemic, rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates (it helps you avoid the glucose rush associated with sweets and simple carbs). Vegetables are an ideal source of all of these.

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  • 3

    Sleep soundly

    When you rest adequately, your self-control improves and your brain gets an optimal environment for the brain to function. When you take enough rest, your body’s need for glucose reduces and it makes better use of what it already has. An adult should sleep for 7-8 hours a night. Without it, you will feel tired and your body won’t deliver enough glucose to your brain.

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  • 4

    Meditate

    The quickest and the best way to improve willpower is to meditate. Your brain learns to self-control and focus by practising it. Mediation, thus, enables you to resist temptation and keeps your mind from wandering to whatever’s tempting you.

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  • 5

    Exercise

    Need another reason to get up from that couch? You might be low on willpower to exercise regularly, but physical activity is actually a great way to build your willpower. A study found that exercising for just two months increased the participants’ willpower considerably. At the end of the two months they procrastinated less, saved more money, ate less junk, watched less television, spent more time studying and became more punctual.

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  • 6

    Keep things simple

    Increasing willpower is a slow and gradual process. So, work on it with a fixed amount of time, increasing it over time with practise. Everything can’t be changed all at once and stressful lives don’t allow massive changes. To see a real change, you’ll have to start small, and tackle one long term goal at a time.

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  • 7

    Make decisions mindfully

    All of us make mindless decisions all the time without consciously deciding to make them. The next time you have to make a decision, pause for a second to ask yourself about the particular course you are choosing instead of all other available options. This will give you control over your decision making. It could be something as simple as analysing what you’re eating for breakfast or asking yourself why you drink coffee as soon as you wake up.

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  • 8

    Set SMART goals

    A management technique, setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, recorded, and timely) goals applies to almost every walk of your life. Instead of setting completely impractical goals that you will never achieve, try to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. That way you actually have a chance of achieving them.

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