• Mauro Herrera

How To Have More Willpower To Achieve Your Goals

What do you think willpower is? Something like the Force in Star Wars? An abstract idea invented by companies? A word that occurred to the world's first personal trainer?

According to a short Google search, willpower is the ability to work toward a goal despite obstacles.

So, it is an "ability." This means that like all abilities, some of us have it and others don't, right?

Well not so much. But there are things we can do to hack our brains and feel more willing to achieve our goals.

1. Reduce big goals into small tasks

This method will help you do tedious things quickly and easily.

When you set a goal, you must compact that plan into small steps that you must do to achieve it. The more concise and small the better.

If your goal is to exercise consistently, break that goal down into small steps. It can't just be "going to the gym", it should look more like: "Put on my running shoes. Go to the gym. Stretch. Warm-up."

It is easier to feel overwhelmed by big tasks, on the other hand, we do small ones with ease.

2. Look for the small wins to create new habits

Has it happened to you that you feel highly motivated to make big changes but get bored along the way? It happens to all of us.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to have a low bar at the start. If you want to quit smoking, you should start small and celebrate the small wins.

Don't look to quit for a whole month. Try first to smoke one or two fewer cigarettes a day than you usually do. If you start a diet, start by celebrating when you don't eat a whole cake for dessert.

The feeling of accomplishment in our brain is a powerful chemical reaction. If we wait to achieve great things to feel it, it will be as if progress never comes.

3. Change your concept of willpower

I ask again: are there people with more or less willpower? Not really.

This is not like having more hormones, or a stronger muscle composition. We can all be equally strong at will. It's more about how we approach our goals.

If you keep thinking that you are not achieving your goals because you are simply less capable, nothing will change. When you understand that you can be as determined as The Rock for your goals, you will begin to see changes.

4. Do not identify yourself with bad habits

Language has a lot of force on the mind. Be mindful of how you express yourself.

Say things like:

"I must eat better because I am fat."

"I must exercise because I am lazy."

"I must stop smoking because I am a smoker."

You are identifying yourself with negative things. You are not those things and you don't "have to" do those things. Change your image of yourself with positive things.

Try saying, "I'm going to eat better because I care about my long-term health."

5. Think about the long run

It is important to have transcendental thinking so as not to focus our goals on trivialities.

Your goals should be oriented towards having a fuller, healthier, and happier life. Going to the gym just because you want to be one size smaller than your friend is not a transcendental thought.

Think more about why you want to make those changes. Take your ideas one step further and do not stay in the small image.

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