Learning to increase willpower is vital, especially when it comes to making a change in your life. Whether it’s deciding to give up a habit like smoking weed or as simple as getting into better shape. Having the willpower to stick to your goals is key to being successful. Just like a muscle, increasing your self control won’t happen overnight and your willpower needs to be developed and strengthened over time. It doesn’t have to happen overnight and it actually won’t happen right away, but is a gradual process that takes time, effort and concentration on your part.
Just like its name suggests, your self control is something that you do have the power to control and increase over time. No matter whether it’s to spend less money, get into better shape, it’s up to you to decide to make a change and then take action with the steps outlined below to start to control your life, instead of it controlling you.
17 Actionable Tips to Increase your Willpower
1.Make a Plan
Before you can ever hope to be successful at giving up a habit like smoking pot or anything else and making a positive change in your life. You need a plan, so sit down and take some time to think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. This is your road map that will help guide you and keep you on track when things start to get tough and you need to be reminded of where it is you are trying to get to. Having a solid plan is the first step in being successful at anything, so get out the pen and paper or fire up the laptop and get to writing.
2. Take Things one Step at a Time
Just like climbing a mountain, you will never reach your goals over night. You have to focus on taking things one step at a time. Don’t let the big picture overwhelm you and keep your goals in mind. Remember that it takes constant work on a daily basis to achieve any kind of meaningful change. If you don’t let yourself become overwhelmed and take many small steps then before you know it, you will be where you want to be.
3. Realize that Motivation is Temporary
Have you ever watched an especially inspiring movie, met someone who was seemingly so successful that it gave you a major burst of motivation, only to have it disappear a little while later? Well that just means that like the rest of us, you’re only human. While it’s always important to get inspired and pumped up, the truth is that motivation is only temporary and fleeting. In reality, doing anything worthwhile is going to be hard. Not to say it will be impossible but you have to be prepared to push through when it seems like you’re getting nowhere, because if you don’t, you will never get to where you want to be.
4. Put Money on the Line
Just like having an accountability group can be great for helping to keep you on track and a get to your goals. Another very effective strategy is to literally put your money where your mouth is. We all know that talking about doing something is fine and great but what about if you have to pay if you don’t follow through? The concept is simple, give a certain amount of money to friend, partner or someone that you trust and if you fail to follow through on your commitment then they will donate it to a cause that especially dislike. If can be anything really, a political organization that you disagree with, religious organization, or any cause that you particularly don’t like. The point is that doing this not only puts your money on the line, but also if you fail, then someone or something that you fundamentally disagree with will benefit from your failure. Now that’s what I call motivation!
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Let’s face it, when you’re exhausted your willpower is weakened and you may not be able to stay strong and stick to whatever goals who set for yourself. Do whatever you can to make sure that you are getting a minimum of 7 hours and ideally 8 plus hours of quality sleep every night. This will help you be mentally fresh and ready to face the challenges of each day with a positive attitude.
6. Organize your Life and Clean up the Clutter
This may seem overwhelming at first but even setting aside as little as ten minutes everyday to clean and organize can make a huge difference. Gets rid of the old clothes you no longer wear, organize your personal space and try and find a home for everything. That way you’re never frantically searching for that favorite shirt or where you left the keys. Which in turn leaves more mental and physical energy to focus on achieving your goals.
- Diet and health
Your health is always important but when you’re trying to make an important change in your life it can become even more important. When you are tired, hungry and out of shape your willpower will be lower and you will be more susceptible to giving into temptation. Make sure you are getting plenty of high quality sleep, eating as healthy as you can and trying to exercise as regularly as possible. This will help keep you feeling your best which in turn, frees up more energy to focus on achieving your goals.
8. Avoid Decision Fatigue
Maybe you’ve heard how Facebook Founder and CEO famously only wears grey shirt to work everyday? If you have then you may have wondered what the heck a billionaire is doing wearing something that is, shall we say, less than the height of fashion? It turns out that there’s actually a really good reason for it. There’s something that’s called decision fatigue. Basically what that means is that your willpower and self control are finite. As you go through your busy day you are constantly making lots of small and often unimportant decisions. What should you eat for breakfast, what you will wear to work, what route should to drive, should you go out for lunch or bring it from home, you get the picture. The more of these small micro decisions you can minimize than the more willpower you will “save” for the really important stuff. Like are you going to do what’s best for you in the long run even if it’s hard. Or are you going to cave and fall back into your old habits. It doesn’t mean that you have to only wear grey shirts from now on but as much as possible try and plan the mundane everyday things out in advance as much as possible.
9. Embrace the suck and Discomfort
When you are trying to make a change in your life, especially something like giving up a major vice. It’s going to be hard and sometimes it may be uncomfortable. The sooner you can learn to embrace the “suck factor” and mentally be prepared to be uncomfortable, the better chance you stand of making a temporary change into a permanent one.
10. Set Realistic Goals
Lets face it, we all want to make changes but sometimes the difference between what we want to achieve and what we actually are willing to do in order to achieve our goals can lead to creating unrealistic expectations. When you do do this then you are setting yourself up for failure before even starting. Instead, at the beginning set realistic, smaller incremental goals. This gives you something to work towards and when you actually reach your goal then it helps to positively reinforces the idea that you can achieve what you set out to do. Then once the goals start to become easier, it’s time to start to stretch out your willpower so that you are always pushing yourself just a little bit harder.
11. Build Positive Habits to Replace the Bad ones
When you are going through a stressful period of growth where you are trying to remove a negative habit such as quitting weed, it’s vital to also be introducing good habits that you enjoy and also help to relax you. Build in and set aside time for fun and relaxing activities. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make it something that you enjoy and always feel better after having done.
12. Use the Power of Imagination
When you harness the power of your imagination then it’s just one more tool that’s in your tool chest to help develop your will. When you can imagine and vividly see yourself overcoming the temptation to get high and smoke a joint or whatever else it is you want to accomplish. Then you will just be adding to your ability to exercise self discipline and say no to temptation.
13. Have a Support Group
A support group can have a huge impact on keeping you on track and not falling off the wagon. It can be your friends, family, a local support group, or an online community like this website but the bottom line is that the more people you have on your side then the greater the likelihood that you will be successful. One thing to keep in mind is that it is important that you only try to enlist the help of people who will actually be supportive. If you are trying to get your stoner friends to help be your support group for giving up smoking pot then they might be be as receptive to you wanting to make the change as say, a local Marijuana Anonymous group for example.
14. Avoid Being Around Temptation
It may seem like it goes without saying but when you are trying to make a behavior change it is a good idea to try and avoid placing yourself in a situation that presents you with more temptation than you can handle. Make sure that while you are still going through the process of ingraining a new habit you don’t set yourself up to fail before the new positive habit becomes permanent.
15. Reward Your Progress
It is vitally important to make sure that you are rewarding yourself for making progress. After you have set a goal and then attained it, do something to reward yourself. It can be watching a funny movie, eating an ice cream cone or anything else that you will enjoy. The important thing is that you give yourself something to both reward and mark your success.
16. Forgive Yourself if You Stumble
We are all human and on your road to becoming free from smoking weed, you may stumble and give into temptation. If that happens then it’s not the end of the world and you have to be able to forgive yourself and get back on track. Everyone fails, everyone stumbles but the difference between people who fail and people who succeed is that successful people get back up after they fall down and get back on track. A failure is only a failure if you let it keep your from continually working towards your goal, instead, brush yourself off and keep on working towards your goal.
17. Don’t Give Up
This one may seem obvious but it needs to be mentioned. Ultimately whether or not you are going to be successful comes down to how much you actually want to be successful. There will always be struggles and pitfalls but the only way to reach your goals is to want to succeed more than anything. It’s not always going to be easy, especially when you first decide to stop smoking weed or any other difficult thing you want to give up. It is going to be hard at first but you have to keep in mind that the only way to reach your goals is to put in the effort.
There you have it.
I hope that you enjoyed these 17 tips to help to grow and strengthen your willpower. These tips apply not only to quitting to smoke weed but also to all areas of your life. Remember, if you want to make positive changes in your life then, it’s not always going to be easy and especially at first it will be difficult and uncomfortable. However the long term benefits of being a better, stronger and more successful person far outweigh the initial struggles you experience.
Any ideas on how to help increase willpower? Share them in the comments below!