There are numerous of goals we want to achieve in life. Whether it’s getting to the desired income, building a fulfilling relationship, or achieving a certain fitness goal, at some point, we need to do what we should but we don’t want to do.
The most challenging part is that most of our goals can’t be done in a day or two, they usually require consistent attention and actions. That’s when our willpower faces the challenge, to get up 2 hours earlier for our workout routine, or sacrifice chilling-with-friends-time to work on the side project.
Willpower and self-control are not everything when come to achieve success in life, but we can’t argue that they are a few very important ingredients to get us started and keep us on track. And here are 4 simple hacks to train your willpower and harness your self-control.
1. DO WHAT MATTERS THE MOST FIRST
Science and research have proven that willpower works like a muscle. The more we train it, the better it gets. But at the same time, the willpower is going to deplete after being used for long period of time.
The more you’re doing things you don’t like to do, the faster and easily your willpower will deplete. That’s why most people who don’t love their job tend to spend more time on the couch watching TV than spending it in the gym or with family. Because they had spent all their willpower throughout the day at the things they force themselves to do.
So, when is the time the willpower at its peak? Early morning after a good rest. That’s why we should always do what matters most – first thing first.
Want to start reading more? Read in the first hour of your day. Want to exercise regularly? Schedule your workout before your work, even you love your job, you’re going to get tired mentally and physically after a day of work. Want to start a side project? Start taking action early in the morning.
But you can’t do all things at once in the morning right? No one can. That’s why here is another important tip – focus. Focus on one goal at a time. Structure and arrange your priority weekly and start making progress consistently.
2. DEVELOP MINI HABITS
Now you know when to start, but always depending on willpower to push yourself forward is never a long-term solution. There will be the time when we’re tired or feeling down, or simply mess up with overwhelmed schedule. Here is when mini habits kick in.
“We’re what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Building mini good habits is the foolproof way to achieve any excellence in life, regardless how big and impossible it seems at first. Why mini habits? Because they are something so small that you have no reason and excuse to ignore.
• Want to 20x business revenue? Make 3 sales calls every day.
• Want to lose 100 pounds? Walk for 15 minutes a day.
• Like to become a great photographer? Take 30 shots a day.
Besides, mini habits are usually keystone habits that lead us to bigger and better habits. After you started walking for 15 minutes a day for 2 weeks, you start to jog, then you start to do research on resistance training and starting to workout regularly.
By improving 1% a day, you are 37.78 times better after 365 days – that’s the power of mini habits with consistent progress.
3. REWARD YOURSELF
It’s not appealing at all if you’re forced to eat plain chicken breast and broccoli every day, and that’s one of the reasons why most people can’t stay on a new routine or behavior they set out in order to achieve their goals because the new routines are just suck.
One of the best ways to make sure you do what you set out to is to craft a reward plan for your action. This will make your new routine and behavior change look more interesting and appealing to pursue in order to keep you on track.
• After eating clean for 6 days, allow yourself to enjoy a meal you love(it’s not necessary to be fattening food if you learn about the diet rules)
• Reward yourself with a getaway trip after months of working on your side project.
• Or simply sharing your works to get compliments after spending weeks to learn that new skill.
One very important thing to remember is that never reward yourself with some counterproductive behaviors. Never allow yourself to stuck in 12 donuts after 2 days of dieting, you will more likely to fail your weight loss goal with this reward plan.
4. FUEL YOUR BRAIN AND BODY
It’s easy for us to make irrational decisions when we’re tired, and get into craving when we’re hungry. So the way to keep on track is to make sure we feed our brain as well as our body.
Keep them filled full and focused on long-term goals rather than the short-term pleasure. What I mean by that? Keep learning and expand your knowledge in your interested field – mentally, then take good rest and good foods to stay at the peak state – physically.
Our body is simply the combination of many chemical and biological effects. Although we can’t study conscious at a deeper scientific approach yet, keeping your body and brain in good state physically will definitely help to make better decisions.