Improve Willpower and Self-Discipline in One Fell Swoop
You know that you need to exercise and your doc had advised you to do so too. After months of procrastination, you have decided tomorrow’s the day you will start turning your life around. Soon tomorrow turns to today and you are heading home from office all pumped up about the workout session that you had planned for.
By the time you reach home after the irritating traffic that has become a part of our life now, you are dead tired and have no energy left. Half of your brain is asking you to just freshen up, push on and don your exercise garbs. But the other half (the one that wins the most) is telling you that you can always start tomorrow and you can just cosy up in front of the TV and rest. And the vicious cycle begins again.
You may be great at what you are doing and have a great social life as well (we never lack energy when it comes to partying, right?). But when it comes to including certain activities in your daily routine or doing something for self-development we tend to lack the zeal and will and soon we come to a point when there are no tomorrows left and we are filled with regrets.
Sticking to old habits is human tendency but for making them better to make your life more fulfilling needs work. Willpower and discipline are to things that help you to achieve what you have aimed for. Here are few ways you can enhance your discipline and willpower.
1. Set SMART Goals
Keep sure that you goal contains the above-mentioned attributes while writing them down. Now place them where you can easily see them and repeatedly get reminded of what you need to achieve. Doing so works wonders to stay disciplined as it gives you the drive to achieve your goals.
2. Remove Temptations and Distractions
Once you have set your goals, ensure to keep your distractions at bay to achieve them. Firstly, figure out what your distractions are- mobile? Lappy? Tele? Playstation? Once you know what they are, strategies properly to mitigate them when you are planning to set your goals into action. Record your favourite show for later, keep your mobile silent, etc. when you workout or when you plan to meditate. Its your life, take charge.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Decisions
The daily routine tasks like what to wear or what to eat should be a part of your daily routine and these decisions can be made in 15-30 seconds. They are not life-altering decisions so do not spend your reserved quota of willpower and decision making on these trivial tasks, save them for the more important ones.
4. Hack Your Mind with the 5-Minute Rule
We often find ourselves procrastinating as we take the time to get things started. But once we hit our stride and get the momentum going, the oh-so-tedious task comes naturally to us. Tell yourself that you will start with 5 minutes. No matter what make sure that you do your assigned 5 minutes of exercise, swimming, meditation (whatever you are trying to achieve) everyday. Soon you will find yourself going beyond 5 minutes and achieving the time you had set for yourself.
Meditation is generally known as the number 1 strategy to enhance willpower. This is so as meditation builds up grey matter in the decision making and emotion-regulating areas of the brain. So incorporate this into your daily routine to give more power to your brain.
Your mom says so, your doctor says so, and everyone you meet will say so: exercise is crucial when it comes to having a happy and healthy life. It reduces fat, reduces stress, keeps you fit- physically and mentally, enhances sleep quality and positively affects our mood and the deal maker is- it improves your willpower. It need not be some drab, boring workout session- dance your way to a better life. Find a fun way to exercise that suits you.
7. Have Good Habits and Routines
Once you incorporate an activity in your routine, it becomes your habit and you do not need any willpower to execute it daily. The beginning may be tough but keep at it and incorporate good habits into your schedule and you will find yourself living life to your full potential.
8. Leave Yourself No Room For Retreat
Put yourself in do or die situations (not literally of course!). Engineer situations that force you to get the job done and where you cannot give up at any moment on your whim. Burn your escape routes and you will find it easier to get the task done within set deadline.
9. Be Accountable
Being accountable for your actions means you do not get to make excuses to not do something. Finding an exercise buddy or a trainer or attending groups often helps. But please note that this does not mean that someone will be behind you with a stick constantly (they have nothing to lose if you fail), the person you need to be accountable to is yourself as all this is for your own improvement.
10. Be A Morning Warrior?
Studies show that your willpower is highest at the start of the day and given that we have a finite quota of willpower assigned to us for each day, plan all your hard, challenging tasks in the morning. An additional advantage is that you feel rested and fresh in the morning and this decreases the chance of you wiggling out of the task.
11. Commit 100%
Once you have decided that you're going to do something, just go ahead and do it. Stay committed. Do not let anything (traffic, stress, etc.) sway you from your target. If you have just planned to do something but are not completely committed to it, you will lack the zeal to get that done and will keep pushing it to the elusive tomorrow. Save yourself the trouble, do not think about it, just do it.
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