Those who can persevere in accomplishing their goals are not without strong determination and perseverance.
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Willpower plays an almost crucial role on the road to your goals.
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If you often feel slack and lazy about what you were going to stick to, you need to know how to make yourself more determined to get things done.
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Fortunately, willpower can be generalized knowledgeably and systematically, made simple and easy to practice.
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The twelve tips described below can help you better play the role of willpower, allowing you to firmly move yourself towards your set goals and overcome difficulties until you achieve them.
Tip 1, think about what your goals mean to you
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Human behavior is always driven by some specific purpose, and the degree to which we desire the goal determines the effort of willpower.
Those who can align their goals with their own needs are better able to control their emotions and feelings. So, to use willpower wisely to help us, the key is to understand our own goals.
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It is recommended that:
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why did you set this goal?
- Does this goal match your needs?
- Even if this goal is not achieved, does it matter?
- Is this goal important to you at this stage?
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If the goal is important to us, we are more motivated to act, otherwise, it is optional to us. Try to find out what the goal means to you.
If you can relate some meaning in life to your goal, then that goal can become one of the needs you do every day.
At the same time, our brains can only focus on one goal at a time, so when you start to act, try to build the conditions to focus on that goal.
Tip 2, any decision we make weakens our willpower
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Making decisions uses our brain energy, and the more energy we use, the lower our blood sugar levels. When it drops to a certain point, the willpower we have to resist temptation, restrain our thoughts, and suppress our impulses next time will diminish.
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So, when we’re tired of making decisions, we tend to avoid or delay choices, or choose the path of least resistance, or even leave nothing at all. If we make too many decisions that day, it’s hard to stick to your goals.
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Examine what decisions you make the most on a daily basis, and then minimize those unnecessary decisions; before doing things, minimize choices as much as possible, and allow your brain to conserve enough energy to cope with the goals you insist on.
Tip 3: Every time you resist temptation, it takes a certain amount of willpower.
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In the same way as Tip 2, when temptations arise, to focus on our current goals, we need to expend willpower to fight those temptations. And with each confrontation, our willpower is weakened.
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Our brains have a survival program that likes to do things with minimal capacity while wanting to maximize pleasure, and resisting temptation is an anti-survival program.
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So, when you start working on your goals, be sure to stay away from those distractions and temptations. If you can’t see, hear, touch, or feel those temptations and distractions, they won’t pose a threat to your goals.
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For example, when reading a book, keep your phone out of your reach; stay in a room isolated from the outside world, and don’t let your family’s TV-watching behavior “affect Chi Yu”.
Tip 4: Any emotional or physical stress can weaken your willpower
Interrupting factors are divided into external factors and external factors. External factors refer to things like cell phones, TV, games, noise, small talk. And internal factors refer to your current mood and mental state.
Under tension and stress, we cannot use our willpower wisely, and everything that relaxes our body and mind can help us use our willpower better.
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Take care to maintain physical comfort and mental pleasure, and stress hormone levels in your blood can be lowered through breathing meditation.
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At the same time, have enough sleep, a balanced diet, and a good work environment, so that you have enough energy to resist the temptations or distractions in your surroundings.
Tip 5: Harness the power of the subconscious mind
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We can describe how we feel about our goals through all our senses, which makes our willpower stronger and allows it to work faster and more efficiently.
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When you associate your goals with all your senses, the right hemisphere of your brain is activated, and then your goals are unconsciously stored by the brain, which in the process of execution will stimulate more motivation, and will also unknowingly save more willpower.
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It is recommended that:
Repeat your goal, imagine the specific situation after you arrive at your destination, and paint an image of victory in your mind; imagine the feeling after victory. See what posture you use to express your inner excitement when you stand on the “top of the mountain of success”.
The more senses you use and the more concrete your vision of this future is, the easier it will be for you to act.
Tip 6: Use the “event-time-method-plan” approach to action
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People who can consciously control their behavior are more likely to achieve their personal goals.
That is, if you know exactly what steps to take next, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals than someone who doesn’t know anything about what to do.
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It is also a book. If the former clearly knows how many pages he has read today, to what extent, and how to read it, then he will be able to accomplish what he wants to do better than the latter who read casually.
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So, when you start working on your goals, create a detailed “event-time-method-plan” -type checklist for yourself, break down the goals into sub-goals, and break down the things you do into different steps.
- Event – what are you going to do?
- time — when do you schedule this to happen?
- Method — what is the best way to do it?
- Planning — do these methods have a corresponding action plan?
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Think ahead, what obstacles you might encounter and what countermeasures you need to take in order to achieve this goal? By applying these methods, your actions will become smoother and you will not be able to focus easily.
At the same time, review your progress on your goals every day to see what you have done for your goals that day. This kind of reflection allows you to better focus on your goals.
Tip 7: Know how to reward yourself in a targeted manner
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With some small, targeted self-rewards, we are more able to overcome ourselves more easily and persevere longer on the road to success.
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Every time you complete a small task of the goal, give yourself a small reward, and every time you complete a stage, give yourself a bigger reward, so that we can build a “reward pattern” in our brain and activate the reward system.
You can combine daily activities that make you feel stressful and tiring with a delightful reward program. For example, if you complete today’s reading task, you can play a few games to relax.
There are three types of rewards:
- Reward yourself in time, and reward yourself immediately after completing a small stage;
- Self-satisfaction without specific rules, after completing small tasks, do whatever you want;
- For proper self-satisfaction, give yourself a reward item that conforms to the action.
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Through these rewards, every time we persevere, we will bring more motivation.
Tip 8: Use the “10-Minute Tip” to Fight Temptation
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When you encounter temptation, allowing yourself to wait for 10 minutes can buffer your urge to satisfy your needs.
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Neuroscientists have found that even as little as 10 minutes of waiting time, our brain’s response to “just-in-time hedonic” changes enough to influence our choices.
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So, when the temptation to have fun is in front of you, just delay it for 10 minutes and your brain will defer it as a future reward. When faced with a difficult task and want to back down or give up, allow yourself to hold on for another 10 minutes.
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When the thought of temptation arises, you can set a 10-minute timer. After 10 minutes, do it again if you still want to meet that need or if you still want to give up the difficult task.
Tip 9: Practice repeatedly to make your persistence a habit
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Ninety percent of our daily behaviors are day-to-day, unconscious repetitions that don’t take much of our attention, because they’re “automated.”
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If we can turn what we want to do into habitual automatic behavior, then our persistence will be easier and we will not need to make self-controlled actions for it.
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It takes as little as 21 days and as long as 6 to 9 months of repeated practice for a new behavior to form an automated behavior. For example, when we drive a car, how to control the accelerator and brake has become our own instinctive reaction.
To automate new behaviors, we must repeat the practice regularly. Choose a suitable environment and make sure to practice once or several times a day.
Tip 10: Learn how to strengthen your “self-efficacy.”
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Believing in one’s ability to solve and deal with problems is called “self-efficacy.”
A person with strong self-efficacy will be full of strength and energy no matter what he does, and will overcome all difficulties and challenges when encountering problems. People with low self-efficacy, who are not sure that they can implement their wishes and plans, will find it difficult to achieve their goals.
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Keep telling yourself that you will be able to solve the problem. It is best to accumulate and improve your self-efficacy in some way. For example, by solving some small problems and gaining a sense of accomplishment, you can improve your self-efficacy.
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When you believe in your ability to solve problems in this area, and when you encounter similar problems again in the future, you will also believe that you have better control over it.
Tip 11, know how to deal with distractions in your mind
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Interference from the outside is easier to deal with, as long as we isolate the source of interference, we can “clear our ears”. But dealing with interference from the inside is more difficult, because each of us may experience the “Zeigarnik effect”.
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The Zeigarnik effect means that we are constantly thinking about unfinished tasks and unachieved goals, and when a task is completely over, the thinking about it in our minds also stops.
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It is recommended that:
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When you are working hard for your goal, suddenly think of something in your mind and cause yourself to be distracted. The Zeigarnik phenomenon occurs. In order to maintain concentration, we can first write down the things that distract us one by one in a list.
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Then put these things in order and remind yourself that when the work at hand is done, start working on these distracting tasks.
In this way, we can effectively reduce the impact of internal disturbances on us.
Tip 12, find an environment that allows you to boost your willpower
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Our environment also has an impact on our willpower, because the mirror nerve cells in our brains respond to all the actions of our fellow human beings and all the emotions of those around us.
You behave similarly when you’re in an environment where people around you are working very hard. When the people around you are lazy, procrastinating people, you are also influenced by them.
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To build up your willpower, you’d better choose to stay with people who share your goals or consistent behavior patterns, or choose those who can serve as role models as reference objects for your efforts.
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Pay attention to the people around you and see who can support you, who will get in your way, who will trust you, and who will doubt you.
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Finding an environment that suits your efforts will make it easier for you to stick to your goals.
Remember, conscious control of attention is the key to our success.