You CAN strengthen your willpower. It's not a genetic trait.
There is plenty of research on success and motivation telling us that achieving success is not only due to innate talent. People succeed because of the things that they do. So what do these amazing people do? And what can we learn from them to strengthen our own will power, which keeps breaking down – particularly when we’re trying to change bad habits?
Tips to strengthen your will power
Define the Goal: The only way to stay on track is to define your intent and be specific about it. It’s not good enough to say that you want to exercise -- be clear. If you have more time in the evenings, give yourself a schedule to do your workout then – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday are the days I’m going to the gym. I’m going to lose 10 lbs is more specific then I’m going to lose weight.
Take Action: We may not have lots of time for ourselves during the day, so when you see a small window of opportunity, seize it. Need to respond to a friend? Don’t wait till you have nothing to do, or wait till you ‘feel’ like it. If you have a moment, use it. You can get many little things done with short windows of time.
Evaluate: Monitor yourself and evaluate your progress. Be realistic and don’t be overly optimistic. Your will becomes stronger as you know your proximity to your goal.
If you don’t see immediate results, keep at it. Getting better is a process and all of us can improve.
Self control: Whatever it is that you want to change-- stop drinking or stop eating junk food etc., don’t put yourself in danger zones. Be a designated driver if you don’t want to drink. Don’t keep junk-food in the pantry if you know it’s your weakness. Don’t be impulsive. Have a back-up plan and put it in place. Sometimes your will power needs a little help
Keep on trucking: Catch yourself when you find yourself going back to the old behavior. If you relapse, make it a small one and get yourself back on track – and instead of harping on what you did wrong, ask yourself what you did right. Thinking positively strengthens your determination, which strengthens your will power to move you to success.
This is an ongoing process. Having strong will power won’t make you a different or better person. It will turn you into a more successful person -- one who won't only ‘think’ of making improvements. You'll be the person who does it!
Q & A
I know that this is something I have to answer for myself but I'd like your opinion. My father was an alcoholic and I have three 1/2 siblings all with drinking problems (two not drinking any more thankfully).
Other than when I was really young, I have always been really careful with my drinking (I'm almost 45). I have rules set aside to try to keep myself in check:
1. never drink alone
2. don't drink when angry or sad
3. only drink with others to have fun
4. up until about 18 months ago, I had sworn off everything but wine to avoid going over my limit too easily
For the most part that has served me well. But lately I have been drinking more socially.
My 12 year old mentioned that when I was drinking, it worried her because I get loud and laugh loudly. My drinking has never caused trouble with work or my husband at all. . .or other activities other than that one time when I over did it and had to go to church feeling awful.
I mentioned all this to a long time friend today and she said I don't have a drinking problem. But, she enjoys drinking so maybe she's not the best to ask. How do I resolve this in my mind?
I also worry that if I decide I don't want to drink at all that I'd need to find a lot of new friends, because sitting around with people that are having a beer when I'm not having a glass of wine isn't thrilling to me, and my husband enjoys hanging out and having a few as well.
What do you think?
Because you are a child of an alcoholic you and your siblings may have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. However, this doesn't mean that you are or will be an alcoholic,
Due to your childhood, you are particularly aware of alcohol. This is fine, but now you notice that you've become occasionally' tipsy'. I don't think that you have to abstain from drinking, just be aware of drinking less. To evaluate if you have a problem,
this test will be helpful.
You're more than aware of the problems that alcohol can cause, and I doubt if you're anywhere close to developing an addiction