This old adage is true: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” Aristotle puts it in another way: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
You need to get your willpower going. This article will give you some pointers on how you may do that. The five habits discussed in this article will help you develop incredible willpower that will enable you to do difficult tasks as if they’re only peanuts.
1. Get the right amount of sleep
You might think that sleeping is a sign of a lazy individual. Yes, that is true – but only if he is sleeping too much. The right amount of sleep is very important in establishing good health. If you don’t get enough of it, your willpower will be the most affected.
So, in order to strengthen your willpower, you must sleep at the proper time and avoid neither staying up too late nor getting up too late. If you lack sleep, your body will crave for sugary foods and caffeine to make up for lost energy
Here are some things that will help you get the right amount of sleep every night.
- A completely darkened room – having lights on your room while you’re sleeping will affect the quality of your sleep. But with a completely darkened room, your brain is completely rested helping to give you more restful sleep.
- Short naps – research studies have shown that taking a nap during the day offers great benefits to your waking hours. A non-stop 8 working hours without taking a break leads to an exhausted mind at the end of the day.
- Create reserve energy – weekends are there for a purpose. They offer us a respite from our daily grind. If possible don’t do your work on weekends, but spend it resting and doing light activities with your family or friends.
2. Eat a low glycemic diet
Research shows that eating a low glycemic diet helps the body to stabilize its glucose level in the bloodstream. Glucose is used by the brain as a source of energy to think, create and exercise willpower.
It is actually a very simple thing to do.
- Just cut back on your consumption of meat such as beef, poultry, fish and pork.
- Eat plenty of nuts because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These include cashew, pecans, walnuts and so forth.
- Take plenty of fresh fruits because they are filled with natural, not processed sugars. These include blueberries, cherries, apples, bananas and many more.
- Eat plenty of vegetables because they are high in fibers and mineral and vitamin contents. Those which are root-based have more positive effects on your willpower. These include carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and so forth.
A note of caution though – if you are not used to eating a low glycemic diet, just start slowly. Don’t completely overhaul your diet right away. Focus on eating them one meal per day. The best time to start is during your breakfast.
3. Take time to meditate
Going about your day in a fast paced way without pausing to think once in a while will get you exhausted at closing time. Insert some time for meditation and you will effectively increase your willpower.
Research revealed that the practice of meditation for only 10 minutes a day for 2 to 3 days helps the brain to focus better. Meditating results in less stress, and more reserved energy.
There is really no mumbo jumbo in meditating. It is simply the practice of bringing one’s thoughts to the present moment. The practice usually involves sitting in an upright position, in a room without any distractions and focusing solely on the breath.
Meditating will teach how to focus. This will have an effect in the work that you do, because you will be able to concentrate on the task at hand until it is successfully completed.
4. Engage in regular exercise
With all the studies and research done on the benefits of exercise, it is really a no-brainer that it is good for you – your willpower included.
Research also shows that one’s willpower is strengthened by exercise. There was a 2-month study that required people who were given free gym memberships to exercise just once a week for the first month, and 3 times a week on the second month.
The participants’ ages range from 18 to 50 years old. Throughout the study, they were tested on different self-control situations such as perseverance and temptations.
The results were amazing: after only two months of exercises and testing, all the participants have increased their ability to resist temptations and persevered on even the most difficult tasks.