Whether it’s losing weight, tidying the house or getting a promotion at work, lack of willpower can make many goals seem out of reach.
With a few simple strategies you can train yourself to become more positive and achieve the things you want the most.
Studies show that learning to control one small thing you aren’t used to controlling strengthens willpower.
For example, if your aim is to lose weight, start by making one meal a day healthy or cutting out sugary snacks.
By setting small goals each month you will increase your willpower and be able to achieve whatever you want without even realising it.
Visualise the future
Work to associate your current state with your future self.
Visualising the future makes your brain think more logically about current choices, making you more likely to act now.
Imagine the results of doing what it is you want to do.
If your aim is to get a promotion, imagine yourself in your ideal role and the positive effect this will have on your life.
Now plan what you need to do to get there.
Avoid pressure by overloading yourself with negative thoughts.
This will only decrease willpower and make goals harder to achieve.
Give your mind and body a break by lying down quietly, closing your eyes and clearing your mind.
Focus on breathing and gently stretch any area of your body that feels tense.
Doing this for 15 minutes each day reduces blood pressure, relieves muscle tension and increases physiological responses.
Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t.
Instead of thinking ‘I can’t spend money,’ think ‘I can save money, and I will enjoy a holiday next year’.
If you fall off the wagon at any point, don’t beat yourself up.
If your goal is to lose weight and you have a bad day, don’t feel guilty – use the experience to try to be extra healthy the next day.
If you’re worried about lack of willpower in the beginning, preparation can make things easier.
Rope in friends to help with a garage clear-out, leave credit cards at home if you will be tempted to spend money, sign up for a fitness class or personal training session, plan the week’s meals in advance and buy only the ingredients you need.
Being prepared will increase your willpower and motivation, and keep you on track to achieving anything you want.