Drop of Life Clinicians utilises information from our learning and experience and bring it to our practice and blogs.
Happy New Year!
It's that time of the year where we start afresh and make plans and goals for the new year. Which might be useful to have a discussion about WILL POWER. This year, I'm introducing a planning and goal setting program, which is online, and it discusses the steps to get you organised. So, it very poignant to perhaps talk about News Year’s Resolutions, Goal Setting and the link with motivation and willpower so we can continue our good intentions throughout the year. Typically, we see a considerable decline in our plans after the first month and if you’re lucky you will still be going in February, then we tend to start losing motivation and sight of our goals. Firstly ‘what is willpower’? Willpower is basically the ability to resist short term gratification or temptation for long-term gain. There has been lots of research on this topic with most people having heard about the experiment that was done with young children and the marshmallows, if not here is the link (https://youtu.be/QX_oy9614HQ). These children were followed throughout their lives and the study concluded that those children that were most successful in life were the ones that were able to delay gratification.
Willpower is like a super power and it can be strengthened, and it also can get depleted. It is similar to a muscle that gets fatigued short term however strengthened long term. The best part about willpower is that typically it is never completely lost, because that's when you lose hope. So, if you still have hope you still have will power.
How do you top up or strengthen your will power, so you can continue to achieve or maintain your New Year’s Resolutions?
1. Stress Management - The number one thing that I think depletes Will power faster than anything is not managing your stress well. It is exhausting mentally and physically to be in a state of constant ‘fight or flight’.
2. Organisation and Planning – Having a plan that is meaningful to you which means it is aligned with your values.
3. Role Model or a Mentor – Someone that you refer to for inspiration and ‘hope’ when your willometer is getting low. In my Planning Program I call this your Brain Trust.
3. Setting up a Habit – Take the pressure off your mind by setting up some good habits as this will free up a huge amount of time and energy.
4. Sleep – Sleep is a vital part of maintaining willpower, if sleep is an issue seek out some solutions or see your GP to rectify – everything appears clearer after a good nap.
5. Meditate – Turn your mind and body down a notch or two and gain clarity.
6. Ownership of your Goals - knowing that you and you alone are the only one who can make them happen. If you own your where you're at, and why you're there, how you got there and take responsibility for it you will increase willpower.
7. Believing - that you have lots of willpower, believing you have resources and resilience is also another way to increase your willpower. Knowing if you have hope you have willpower.
I hope this helps you stay on track this year and gets you one step closer to living the life you know you deserve.