How to Build Willpower

Table of contents:

How to Build Willpower
How to Build Willpower
Anonim

Willpower, also known as self-discipline, self-control, or determination, is the ability to control behavior, emotions, and attention. Willpower requires the ability to resist cravings and delay pleasure for a moment in order to achieve goals, the ability to control unwholesome thoughts, feelings, or desires, and the ability to self-regulate. A person's high determination can determine his ability to maintain financial stability, make good decisions to maintain physical and mental health, and avoid alcohol consumption or drug abuse. You can have determination and achieve goals by continuing to try to live a life without pleasure for a moment in order to achieve greater pleasure in the future. Just like training muscles that take time, this will improve your ability to control your urges.

Step

Part 1 of 4: Make Behavior Change a Goal

Have Willpower Step 1
Have Willpower Step 1

Step 1. Get to know your habits

If you're looking to improve your willpower to become stronger, it's likely that your inability to control your urges is already having a negative effect on some aspects of your life. There are people who have no determination in living life, while others face weakness specific in building determination. Decide what aspects of your life you want to improve. If there are several aspects, correct them one by one.

  • For example, you may find it difficult to stay determined when it comes to your diet. This can affect your overall health and quality of life.
  • Another example, maybe you can't control the habit of spending money so it's difficult to save to meet needs or when there are events that more important.
Have Willpower Step 2
Have Willpower Step 2

Step 2. Create a determination scale

Set yourself a scale to evaluate your resolve. Put it on a scale from 1 to 10. A 1 means you really like to indulge yourself with things you want to avoid. The number 10 means you can restrain yourself by obeying the rules you set for yourself. Alternatively, you can define a simpler scale with "not at all, a little, a lot". There are various ways of setting a scale for self-evaluation.

  • For example, if you really like to eat sugary foods/drinks and buy fast food every day, rate it 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10.
  • If you often buy things impulsively just because they're on sale when you don't really need them, or if you like shopping online and spending money on things you don't need because you're bored, give it a “no” rating. at all” in terms of resisting the urge to shop on the determination scale.
Have Willpower Step 3
Have Willpower Step 3

Step 3. Define a long-term plan for making changes

The first step towards self-improvement is to set goals for change. Set goals with clear, specific, and achievable formulations. You cannot determine whether your goals have been achieved or progress is made if your goals are unclear or unmeasurable.

  • For example, a very vague goal when it comes to impulsive eating is “to adopt a healthier diet”. Healthier is a relative term and it can be difficult to determine whether you have managed to become “healthier”. More concrete goals for example “lose 10 kg of weight by adopting a healthy diet”, “get back in size so I can wear size S again”, or even “eliminate dependence on sugar”.
  • Unclear goals related to spending money for example “manage money better”. These goals are also unclear or immeasurable. Better goals might be “saving 10% of my monthly salary”, “increasing my savings balance to IDR 3,000,000”, or “paying off all my credit card debt”.
Have Willpower Step 4
Have Willpower Step 4

Step 4. Set short-term goals that are easier to achieve

One of the best ways to achieve big goals (which can seem overwhelming) is to set short-term goals as guide posts. This goal must also be formulated specifically and measurably so that it can lead you to the long-term end goal.

  • For example, if you want to lose 10 kg, set first short-term goals such as “lose 5 kg”, “exercise 3 times a week”, and/or “limit snacking to once a week”.
  • If you want to save Rp. 3,000,000, make your first short-term goals by “saving Rp. 500,000”, “eating out only twice a week”, and/or “replacing watching movies every weekend with watching movies at home”.

Part 2 of 4: Putting Off Fun

Have Willpower Step 5
Have Willpower Step 5

Step 1. Remember the ultimate goal you want to achieve

The best way to "practice" your willpower is to sacrifice your desire for momentary pleasure for the sake of long-term pleasure. In the end, the pleasure you get can be in the form of a “better life” or a “stable financial condition”. However, it's a good idea to experience some concrete pleasure so that you can learn to exercise your willpower.

  • For example, if you're trying to lose weight, try controlling impulsive eating habits so you can enjoy the fun of shopping for clothes that fit your new size to fill your entire wardrobe.
  • If you want to control impulsive shopping urges, gift yourself something more expensive than what you normally can't afford. For example, you could buy a new big-screen TV or go on vacation to a place of your dreams with friends.
Have Willpower Step 6
Have Willpower Step 6

Step 2. Get rid of the habit of enjoying instant pleasure

This is the essence of growing willpower. If you feel tempted to give in to an impulsive desire, realize that your desire right now is to feel instant, short-term pleasure. If this impulsive behavior goes against your goals, you will feel guilty after you indulge yourself in enjoying this instant pleasure.

  • Try these ways to resist the urge to indulge in impulsive instant gratification:

    • Realize what you want to do
    • Tell yourself that you are looking for instant pleasure
    • Remind yourself of short term goals or long term goals you want to achieve
    • Ask yourself the question whether giving in to this impulsive desire will lead you to your goal or will it mess up your journey towards the ultimate goal
  • For example, if you're trying to control an impulsive urge to eat and you're currently standing by a cookie tray at a party:

    • Realize that you want to eat a piece (or five pieces) of cake
    • Admit that this cake can satisfy your cravings or impulsive urges right now
    • Remind yourself that you are working towards your goal of losing 10 kg and will reward you with buying a wardrobe full of new clothes
    • Ask yourself if the satisfaction of eating a cake is worth it keeping you from progressing and it's possible that you won't be able to get a new outfit in the end
Have Willpower Step 7
Have Willpower Step 7

Step 3. Give yourself a small reward for making progress

Giving motivation or gifts won't change your resolve in the long run, but they can help you achieve success. Since the big final rewards may take a long time to get to you, it's a good idea to give yourself a small reward as a "guide post" for making progress.

  • For example, if you manage to pick the right foods during the week, indulge yourself by buying your favorite food on the weekends. Alternatively, give gifts that are not in the form of food, such as listening to music, watching your favorite TV show, or doing your hobby.
  • If you're trying to control your impulsive shopping urges, reward yourself for saving. For example, make a decision, every time you can save Rp. 500,000, you are free to buy anything for Rp. 50,000.

Part 3 of 4: Monitoring Your Progress

Have Willpower Step 8
Have Willpower Step 8

Step 1. Keep a journal of your resolve

Take note of the attempts you have made to control your impulsive urges, including the successful and unsuccessful ones in increasing your willpower. Make an effort to record it in detail so you can evaluate it at a later date.

  • For example, you might write, “I ate five slices of cake at the office party today. I didn't have lunch at work, so I was very hungry. There are a lot of people there. Tuti made it and I couldn't stop eating.
  • Another example, “This afternoon I went to the mall with my husband to buy jeans for our son. I insisted on buying a dress I liked, even though it was on sale. I came out of the store with only the clothes I wanted without buying anything else.”
Have Willpower Step 9
Have Willpower Step 9

Step 2. Comment on the factors that influence decision making

In addition to going into detail about what desires you managed to hold on to or what impulsive behavior you ended up doing, also comment on what you think. You can record your emotional experiences, who you experienced them with, and where they were.

Have Willpower Step 10
Have Willpower Step 10

Step 3. Identify your behavior patterns

After making a few notes in your journal, start rereading your notes and try to find patterns in your behavior. There are some questions you can ask yourself, for example:

  • Have I made the best decisions when I'm alone or with other people?
  • Are there certain people who “trigger” me to behave impulsively?
  • Do my emotions (depression, anger, happiness, etc.) affect my impulsive behavior?
  • Do I have a harder time controlling my impulsive urges at certain times of the day (such as in the middle of the night)?
Have Willpower Step 11
Have Willpower Step 11

Step 4. Try making a visual presentation of your progress

This may sound a bit silly, but people respond better to visual presentations of their progress. You'll stay motivated if there's something you can look at to let you know how far you've come and how far you've come.

  • For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, put down a jar and put in a quarter of a coin each time you lose 2.5 pounds. You will see concretely how far you have reached your goal by seeing how high the jar is.
  • If you're saving, draw a shape like a thermometer and color it each time you save. If the color has reached the top, this means that you have reached your goal. This method is commonly used by fundraisers to show how much money has been raised.
Have Willpower Step 12
Have Willpower Step 12

Step 5. Find the way that works best for you

There are many methods that can be used and find the one that works best for you. Maybe you want to keep a journal or think about successes and setbacks when controlling impulsive urges. You can help by giving a small gift each week, using a visual presentation to focus on, or setting your determination scale each day. It's also possible that your impulsive behavior is triggered when you're alone, from being in a certain place, or when you're with certain people. Choose the most appropriate way to strengthen your determination to achieve a desire or overcome a particular problem.

Part 4 of 4: Preventing or Confronting Setbacks

Have Willpower Step 13
Have Willpower Step 13

Step 1. Be aware of any stress that might get in the way of progress

Whatever your specific goal, stress from work or everyday events can be holding you back from progress. Try doing ways to deal with stress such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and resting.

Have Willpower Step 14
Have Willpower Step 14

Step 2. Find ways to avoid temptation

Sometimes, the best way to beat temptation is to avoid it. If your willpower isn't strong enough to get rid of impulsive behavior, try eliminating opportunities to indulge. This means that you may have to avoid people or environments that trigger your impulsive desires. This method may not provide a long-term solution, but it can help you during difficult times or if you are just starting out.

  • For example, if you're having trouble controlling impulsive food cravings, try cleaning your kitchen and pantry of unhealthy foods. Eliminate everything that can not support your desire to form a new diet.
  • If you're trying not to shop impulsively, it may be more helpful to carry cash instead of a credit card. If you feel easily tempted to shop on impulse, don't go with excess cash or credit cards. If your desire is triggered when you are in a certain place like at the mall, don't go to the mall. If you need something, ask someone to help buy it for you.
Have Willpower Step 15
Have Willpower Step 15

Step 3. Use an “if-then” mindset

If-then statements can help you figure out how to react when you feel tempted. You can "train" how to react to certain situations by preparing if-then scenarios. This way, you will be prepared if you have to face a situation that makes you experience temptation.

  • For example, if you want to go to an office party filled with cakes, try using if-then statements such as “If Tuti offers me a cake later, I will politely decline and say 'the cake looks good, but I'll do it later.' move to another place."
  • If you're trying to control your shopping habits, try using an if-then statement by saying, “If I see something I really like at the mall, (then) I'll write down the item code and price and then go home. If the next day I still want to buy this item, I will ask my husband to help buy it for me.”
Have Willpower Step 16
Have Willpower Step 16

Step 4. Find a therapist

If you've been trying to control your impulsive urges and that doesn't seem to be working either, it's a good idea to consult a therapist. The therapist can provide specific support and suggestions for changing your behavior. He or she can also determine if there is an underlying problem causing this impulsive behavior.

  • Therapists who specialize in controlling impulsive behavior and performing cognitive behavioral therapy can be very helpful in dealing with impulsive and addictive behaviors.
  • How to control impulsive behavior or overcome certain desires known as habit-beating is done by replacing bad habits (eg eating cake every time you see it) with other desirable habits (eg drinking a glass of water).

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