I've been reflecting lately on willpower.
How do I find it? How do I keep it?
Willpower, when I can find it, feels like magic. It fuels my passion. It makes me feel like a badass and gives me the motivation to accomplish things I never thought possible.
But when I am lacking willpower, I am hard on myself.
Why didn't I work harder during my workout? I could have kept going!
Why did I have that extra glass of wine and dessert last night? Ugh, I have no self control!
Why did I respond right away to that text message? I shouldn't have said anything.
Why did I agree to plans I knew I wouldn't want to keep? I should just say no!
I'm working on finding grace in these moments, and also focusing on what's working -- when I feel strong and determined, connected to my willpower.
So, how do we practice willpower? I asked around for ideas and got some stellar advice for tapping into your inner strength. Next time you're struggling to find your willpower, try these tips.
"Focus on your goal and consistently concentrate on progress, no matter how small."
"Practice self care first."
"The self-discipline aspect of life is NOT easy. But I think what gets me motivated is knowing I will always feel better after or in the long run if I push through."
"Get aligned first. Do your meditation. Do your workout."
"I remember all the tough stuff I've been through, and that gives me the willpower to keep going."
"I have a word that I've always repeated to myself when I'm racing or want to up my game in lifting. It's a word that I want to be, that encourages me: strong."
"Unlock those internal vibrations that you have inside of you that tell you that anything is possible. Connect with others who know that."
Surround Yourself with Support
"Surround yourself with others who are as passionate and fired up as you are."
“When things get tough, I turn to peers and friends for support, especially those who have been through similar struggles. I try my best to keep a very forgiving yet forward attitude with myself.”
"Set goals and tell someone about them so that you can be held accountable."
“Don’t try to do it alone. Tell a goals what your friends are. Write it down on your board. Speak out loud the thing that it is you’re trying to accomplish.”
"I find I have more willpower when I talk with other people in a similar situation. Knowing I'm not alone in my struggles really helps me."
"Working with creative people helps me focus."
Find Your Why
"Find your purpose. It's hard to have willpower without a solid purpose."
"I think of my daughter. I want to show her that we can do anything we want, as long as we put in the work, even if it's hard."
"I can focus when it is something I am passionate about. Passion drives results!"
"Faith and love keep me going!"
"Put off short term fun for long term gain."
"Limit distractions. Picture your focus as sharp as a laser beam."
"Take 'should' out of the equation. Remove the guilt and you give yourself a lot more freedom."
"Come alive in challenging situations. Let the pressure ignite your power. Being under pressure can actually be a positive thing if you learn to harness and cultivate that energy." "Written reminders around my house and alarms on my phone help me stay on track on a daily basis."
Just Get Started
“It’s a whole lot harder to get something started than to keep it rolling. Getting started is the key.”
"Willpower is all about habits. What small steps are you taking? Break your goal down into a step so small that you have no excuses not to do it."
"Set a morning mantra. Mine is: stay humble, stay kind, stay energized."
“Cold showers. Just sayin’.”
"I reward myself with cookies and that's a good incentive."
"I have no willpower. At all. I just force myself to do shit."
A big thank you to all the friends, colleagues and inspiring folks who contributed to this post! I love you guys. Such great advice here that I’ll definitely be returning to ;)