willpower motivation

“My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (–its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. “ -Nietzsche

My mother has been trying to quit smoking for years. She wants to quit and has tried a number of things-cold turkey, gum, the patch, you name it. She just does not have the willpower to do it. Do you know someone like this? And how about you? Is there something that you wish you could train yourself to do? Maybe you want to exercise more, eat better, or control your alcohol intake. Having the willpower to do all or any of these things is achievable, if it’s done correctly. Here are a few simple steps to train your willpower:

I. Set the Stage: In order to truly master your willpower, set limits and parameters for yourself. Be specific about what you want to accomplish and by when. Lay out the road map for yourself, so you know what you’re trying to tackle.

II. Start Small: Instead of rushing into things, ask yourself, ” What are my milestone goals as I work towards my end goal?” Break it up into small obtainable chunks. By achieving small successes, you’re training yourself; creating a positive environment to ultimately accomplish your task and train your will power.

III. Train Your Urges: In order to truly master your willpower, set limits and parameters for yourself and then extend it. For an example, I hate to run because I get bored. Yet, it is important to me to do a triathlon because it’s something I have always wanted to do. So, when I want to stop running, instead of giving up, I say to myself, “Just make it to the flagpole.” Once I have made it to the flag, I pick a slightly further benchmark and say the same thing. This helps to to push beyond your comfort zone and your preconceived limitations.

If you want to reinforce your new learned behavior, I suggest a variation of a method I got from Tim Ferriss. Wear a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you find yourself thinking of quitting or becoming lackadaisical with your training, simply switch the band to your other wrist. The proper way would be to take off the band only after you’ve gone for 7 days straight without switching wrists. But you can simply try it for 7 days.

One more thing…….

Impact of Accountability

Something to consider is that you are not alone. If you’re trying to improve your quality of life, friends and family will want to support you. Find a partner to keep you accountable and vice versa. By having someone to share in your success and to report to, you are increasing your chances of succeeding. Consider these statistics from the American Society of Training and Development, which reveal the probability of successfully completing a goal:

* 10% if you hear an idea.

* 25% if you consciously decide to adopt it.

* 40% if you decide when you will do it.

* 50% if you plan how you will do it.

* 65% if you commit to someone else you will do it.

* 95% if you have a specific accountability appointment with the person to whom you committed

How do you train your willpower? Have you struggled with it in the past? How have you overcome it? We would love to hear from you.

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Photo source: Wellspehere.com

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3 Responses

  1. Rebecca

    My experience shows me that “training” can only come after you fully commit to being finished with something that didn’t work for you, and are completely open to making new choices. When I see people who are still stuck in a behavior they claim not to like, I know that they “like” something about the old behavior more than they like the idea of a different outcome despite protests to the opposite. This includes myself.

    • Ja-Naé Duane

      Rebecca, I completely agree. You have to be ready to change your behavior, as well as ready to get rid of the old one. Nothing can change unless that happens.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. Ray

    I have one more idea on training willpower:
    set yourself a prize!

    if you find it very hard to do what you want to achieve… you could create a fake motivation to yourself: a prize.

    I am not sure if that’s a good idea.
    you start lying to yourself, in regards of motivations why you doing what you doing…
    but maybe it will help break the “I can’t do it… because I just lazy” obstacle.


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