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Willpower Awareness

August 3, 2012 by  
Filed under blog

So, as I was mentioning last week, I have this goal to be in the best shape of my life. There is no reason that I can’t achieve my goals. But it will take a lot of work and dedication. That is the issue—not whether I can achieve this but keeping with the program.

I was just 10 days into my new program when I found myself breaking some of my work out and eating goals. Ouch! That pissed me off at myself. Not sticking with my goals was the bad news but there was good news and its news that can help anybody who is serious about setting and sticking with their goals.

What I did was to go back to that great book by Kelly McGonigal PhD, “The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It”. I have this habit of skipping around in books to quickly find the real gems and in doing that I often miss key points. This was one such book. To my great delight, this time around I discovered a few critical secrets that I totally missed before.

I am going to give you just a couple of her gems starting this week and then adding to them in the next week or two. Kelly’s advises readers to try only one new strategy per week so here are a couple options.

1. Get To Know Yourself: Know when and where and why you are likely to give up on your goal. You must be able to see how and why you stop short. So this week I am going to work on becoming more aware of when I am making choices related to my will power. I think it is quite reassuring to know that everyone struggles in some way with temptation, addiction, distraction and procrastination. These are not weaknesses but simply part of the human condition and something we can work on.

2. Pay Attention to How You Talk to Yourself About Your Willpower: What do you say to yourself when you procrastinate and how do you judge your willpower shortcomings and successes?

Put just one of these ideas into practice. Once you become more aware of where the temptation is coming from and what you tell yourself that gives you permission to give up, you will be better able to halt that behavior and stick to your goals.

Check back next week for another couple great ideas.

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