Many people start to engage in an exercise regimen in a gym like Curves or Lifetime Fitness with great enthusiasm. But as time goes on, they lose interest and fall back on their old arm-chair ways. Are you in this class? Do you consider yourself a weekend physical fitness practitioner, or do you simply ignore your need to have physical activity.
If you want to live longer, you need to shake up your body on a regular basis. Just saying that is just too easy. It is the putting it to practice that takes real commitment.
There’s one thing you need right now – willpower. It is the will to do it that will make you committed to an exercise program. Thankfully, there are many tips that can help you strengthen your willpower.
Having a strong willpower will not only help you sustain your exercise program, but will also benefit other areas in your personal and professional life. Here are six strategies in strengthening your willpower.
1. Develop the habit of being mindful all the time
This goes to almost every little thing that you do, such as what you eat, what dress to wear, and what you choose to do first when you arrive at the office. Being automatically minded can be overcome by doing the opposite – being mindful of everything that you will do.
This is very easy to do. Just ask yourself why you are choosing this dress and not the other one. Do this to everything that comes to your attention and you will be able to practice mindfulness that eventually strengthens willpower.
2. Just do one thing at a time
All of us have 2 distinct brain parts that we use to solve problems. One of them is the limbic system which we use to make easy and automatic decisions such as brushing our teeth, and things like that.
The other is the pre-frontal cortex which we use to solve more difficult problems such as math equations, communication problems and the like. This is the part of our brain that we also use when we contemplate about long term goals. It is also what you use to develop your willpower.
When you are multi-tasking, you are using your limbic system. Therefore, when you are trying to do many things at the same time, you are strengthening your limbic system.
Unfortunately, your pre-frontal cortex cannot multi-task. It can only solve complicated problems by focusing on them one at a time. Since it is the part of your brain responsible for your willpower, you can strengthen it by focusing on one single task at any one time. The key is to restrain yourself frommulti-tasking and you will invariably be strong-willed.
3. Go to the offense
Researchers studying the habits of strong-willed people found out that they simply did not put themselves in compromising situations. They know that temptations abound in this world, so they try as much as they could to keep themselves out of situations where their willpower will tested more than they could withstand.
These people are wise enough to think about what may tempt them such as sweets, alcohol, or distractions and tried their very best to avoid them. They only appear to be strong-willed because they seldom use their willpower in their everyday lives.
4. Break big tasks into smaller ones
This is a very important key to attaining a strong will. Don’t be intimated by large tasks. They can be easily conquered by dividing them into smaller ones. Smaller tasks are easily manageable and doable.
By dividing the big task into smaller ones, you will not be so intimated by the whole project. Start with the smallest and easiest task because you can complete it faster, and that will give you additional encouragement to go on
As you are able to complete a smaller task, go to the next task, until you have completed the whole project. By doing this in any kind of project, you will find that your willpower will get stronger.
5. Monitor your progress
It is a funny thing that most people, when they look in the mirror, will not see who they really are, but who they want to be. The reason is that we have an ideal image of the self that we want to live up to.
If you are like them, you need to start thinking and acting the way you want to be. You can do this by monitoring yourself. That means you need to track as much information about what you are doing and what you are thinking every day.
Then you need to compare what you are actually doing with what you really want to do. Admittedly, this is a tall order for a person, but if you want to have strong willpower, this is one of the ways to do it.