Breaking Down Willpower


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In this presentation I discuss the components of willpower and how to improve yours.

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Breaking Down Willpower

  1. 2. <ul><li>Will power is viewed by many as gift that some people are simply born with. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I wish I had Jane’s willpower. She never misses a workout” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The majority of those who believe that also feel that they were born without willpower. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t have any willpower, if _______ is around, I’m going to eat it.” </li></ul></ul>
  2. 3. The Definition of Willpower <ul><li>Wikipedia defines Willpower as: </li></ul><ul><li>“ the ability to exert one's will over one's actions” </li></ul><ul><li>It goes on to say, “Willpower manifests as inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence.” </li></ul><ul><li>Based on my personal experience, my definition of Willpower as it relates to Exercise and Nutrition is: </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to make a goal directed decision despite one or more temptations drawing you to the contrary. </li></ul>
  3. 4. The ability to make a goal directed decision despite one or more temptations drawing you to the contrary. <ul><li>Willpower is an ability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abilities are developed through practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Willpower is goal directed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This means there must be a goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A goal must be S.M.A.R.T </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Willpower is a decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions are made by weighing pros vs. cons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Willpower defies temptations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There will always be obstacles to success </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Even professional athletes are not born with their abilities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some may be born with attributes that aid in the development of their abilities. However, none of them ever achieved success without hard work and practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once you’ve identified the changes that you need to make to achieve a desired result, it will then take practice to make these changes part of your life. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The only way to truly fail at anything is to give up. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saying that you just don’t have any willpower is giving up. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Willpower doesn’t mean being perfect all the time. </li></ul>
  5. 6. You can imagine the amount of willpower that it takes to go from:
  6. 7. <ul><li>Author Paul Myer commented, “No one ever accomplishes anything of consequence without a goal.” He goes on to say, “Goal setting is the strongest human force for self-motivation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Willpower can not be improved without first clearly defining your goals. Use SMART goal setting techniques: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S – Specific : Make sure there is no gray area around what you plan to achieve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>M – Measurable : You have determined how you will judge the overall success of the goal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A – Attainable : This goal is possible to achieve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R – Realistic : This goal is possible for you to achieve within your current circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T – Time Frame : The goal has a completion date. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>A decision is made by weighing the pros vs. the cons of a certain action. </li></ul><ul><li>Every decision a person ever makes can be traced to two basic needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtaining pleasure or avoiding pain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Key is in Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short Term Pain vs. Pleasure Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasure = Giving into temptation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pain = Practicing willpower </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long Term Pain vs. Pleasure Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasure = Satisfaction of achieving success </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pain = Unpleasant feelings associated with failure </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Willpower doesn’t mean pretending that the things that you want don’t exist. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the time to discover your “Internal Why” by considering how your life will be improved by making your intended changes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visualize your outcome. The more vivid your vision of what you will truly hope to achieve, the stronger your resolve to make it there will be. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking the time to define this “internal why” will help drive you through the difficult parts of the journey, give you passion to strategize around obstacles, and ultimately lead you to success. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Mindfulness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mindfulness is defined as a concentrated awareness of one's thoughts, actions, or motivations. It can be a very powerful tool when it comes to making changes in our daily lives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mindfulness is basically living in the moment. Bob Merberg discusses mindfulness in his book The Health Seeker’s Handbook, stating that: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Practice mindfulness while eating – paying complete and quiet attention to the present moment and being aware of all perceptions related to eating – and you will find that you will naturally choose health foods, eat moderate portions, and “tune in” to your sense of satiation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Practice mindfulness while exercising, and you can eliminate boredom and shed those internal voices that generate reasons to not exercise. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Practice mindfulness at work and when interacting with coworkers, and you will reduce your work-related stress. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Self Efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>The belief that one has the capability to initiate or sustain a desired behavior (the exercise of control). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John C. Maxwell discusses beliefs in his book Talent Is Never Enough . He states that, “Personal breakthroughs begin with a change in your beliefs…your beliefs determine your expectations, and your expectations determine your actions.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believing in yourself and your ability to reach your goal is an extremely important component of willpower. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipating obstacles and creating strategies for overcoming them before they set you back is a great way to increase your confidence in achieving your goals. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Perseverance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You will be tested by hardships on your road to fitness and sometimes it may take all the conviction that you possess to make the right decisions, but you can do so with the knowledge that you are making that investment in yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maxwell discusses perseverance in his book as well. He states that, &quot;Confronted with adversity, many people give up while others rise up. How do those who succeed do it? They persevere. They find the benefit to them personally that comes with any trial and they recognize that the best thing about adversity is coming out the other side of it.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maxwell goes on to say, goes on to point out that &quot;Perseverance doesn't really come into play until you are tired. When you are fresh, excited, and energetic you approach a task with vigor...only when you become tired do you need perseverance. To successful people fatigue and discouragement are not signs to quit. They perceive them as signals to draw on their reserves, rely on their character, and keep going.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Taking Care Center now offers Wellness Coaching <ul><li>Through thoughtful assessment and inquiry, collaborative problem-solving and goal-setting, and safe, open, and honest dialogue, coaches help their clients become clearer on where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there. </li></ul><ul><li>Clients feel accountable to themselves and their coaches. They make and honor their commitments to reaching their goals, accomplishing more than they believed possible when they began. </li></ul><ul><li>Coaches provide instruction and mentoring to their clients, and help them set goals, define an action plan, and navigate the path until they reach their goals. Coaches facilitate learning and help clients put the learning into action. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Thank You For Attending My email: [email_address] This lecture will be on along with supporting articles and information. You can also read my weight loss column at