If you find yourself losing a battle with that bowl of left over Halloween candy, you are not alone. From the moment we wake up the morning until we go to bed at night we are faced with temptation after temptation. Whether it is the plate of cupcakes left out in the office break room or that new purse that you just have to have it can be hard keeping up your willpower hour after hour day after day. The good news is that just like the muscles in your body, willpower can be strengthened with the right kind of exercise and by letting go of the stress that constant temptation causes you can become more productive and happier.
Set Yourself Up to Succeed
According to a study conducted in Germany, doctors found that those with the strongest willpower were also those that spent less time using it. What at first seemed like a contradiction was soon explained by how these people proactively avoided these temptations in the first place. Afraid of overeating? Avoid an all you can eat buffet. No self-control when it comes to shopping? Limit your trips to the mall. By acknowledging your weaknesses and playing a little offense you will have far fewer temptations to resist during the day.
Choose Your Timing
Set a willpower budget for yourself, it is a limited resource so don’t take on too many temptations at once. If something taxing or stressful is going on in your life it is probably not the best time to start a diet or quit smoking. By choosing your timing carefully you set yourself up for a better chance of success.
Keep a Diary
It is too easy to let one failure derail many successes. By keeping track of what you have accomplished you will be less likely to throw in the towel when you have the occasional moment of weakness.
Let’s face it, we are all guilty of putting off those things that are unappealing or unpleasant but studies show that the longer you procrastinate the more your willpower gets depleted. According to recent studies, when procrastinators are bored and anxious they are much more likely to give in to temptation to improve their mood.
Take Care of Yourself
Our willpower is always at its lowest when we are overworked, overtired or over hungry. To keep your willpower at its peak make sure to take care of the basics. Get a good night’s sleep and eat regular meals and it will be much easier to fend off that office birthday cake come 2 o’clock.