Willpower is a skill.
That’s it. The good news and the bad news.
Whoa! Slow down..before you start making assumptions (like this is an article about weight loss) take a moment. Bear with me here. Willpower is a skill! For those who think I’m making this up, check out Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk..there’s actually scientific proof. Ahh, now I hear the exhales from my former scientific colleagues, yes, this is backed by research.
Here’s the good news….willpower is a skill that you can practice and grow like a muscle and it is backed by science.
So why am I choosing to write about this now? Truthfully? I just gave a talk about willpower this past weekend so it is fresh in my mind. Also, I looked at the calendar and noticed that it is October! What happened to the rest of the year?
In business, this marks the home stretch, the final quarter. The time when the gas pedal may need an extra tap and there are mounting priorities…both in and outside work. That just, aren’t, getting, done. Period.
That’s where willpower comes in. Willpower provides the “pull” to keep you going when you are working on a goal. But let’s get clear first. Until you know what you want to achieve, then all the willpower in the world will not help you.
Step one is to get clear on what you want to achieve. Have a goal. Believe in it. This belief will give you purpose and help you persevere.
Step two is to expect there to be roadblocks. Any goal that is worthwhile will have difficulties. When the roadblocks hit, you fall off the wagon or you mess up. aka “fail”. Forgive yourself. Don’t take my word for it…take McGonigal’s! This is key to persevering.
Step three is to build a strategy to manage those roadblocks, so when they come (not if they come) you can adjust your sails, course correct, get some help and then take another step. Oh yeah.. and learn.
Repeat. What I love about this is that as you continually repeat the cycle, you may notice that “fail” starts to get replaced with “succeed”!
Practice. Fail (and forgive!). Learn. Repeat.
I love this. For anything from business goals to parenting to knitting and yes, even losing weight.
What else can you do? Set mini goals. Improve your willpower - meditate, exercise, breathe, get more sleep, No kidding (that’s actually backed by science).
Oh and you might be wondering why I said this was good and bad news. The good news, willpower is a skill and, a skill is something you can acquire and develop. Everyone. The bad news, there is no longer the “I just don’t have any willpower” excuse!
Need help tapping into your willpower? Contact me for a zero obligation chat.