How do you exercise strong willpower to follow through with your workout plans?

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Regularity of training is one of those elements that directly translates into the effectiveness of exercise. Bad weather or feeling worse are excuses that often accompany us. How do you exercise willpower so that you can still meet your training plans?

Strong will vs. weak will

Strong will is when someone, despite various adversities that await him every day, consistently strives to achieve previously set goals. Weak will is, in turn, lack of persistence. Weak will is noticed when, in spite of repeated resolutions concerning e.g. losing weight, we again reach for sweets. Or when we carefully plan our workout units for the whole upcoming month and a moment of laziness or bad weather decides that we will stay at home.

What does consistency or lack of it depend on? Can a strong will be trained in exactly the same way as our body muscles? Is regular training able to make sure that no adversity will convince us to give up our previous intentions? It turns out that yes! We can exercise our will and make it stronger and stronger. The question is, how do we do it?

A strong will gives us a lot of possibilities, such as:
persistence in pursuing a goal, making well-considered decisions or…

Published by Good Morning Psychology Friday, April 30, 2021

Set goals that are achievable

This is a basic planning principle. The goals you set for yourself must be achievable. Otherwise, there is a high probability that you will give up early on in your journey. If you are very overweight, it is unlikely that you will achieve a model figure within a month. You have to realize that the effects of certain actions have to be earned. It takes time for the first results to appear.

If you set yourself goals that are impossible to achieve, you will quickly give up. This will not be a sign of weak will, but rather a rational approach of the body. You will not see the expected progress, so you will doubt the sense of action. When you set goals that are within your reach, the chance of success will increase significantly.

Make sure your day is organized

A good plan is essential. So if you don’t like using a schedule, it’s high time that you got used to it. Chaos is not your ally. The better you plan your activities, the more likely it is that you will do everything you set out to do.

Practice consistency at every possible step. But don’t start with extremely difficult challenges. It’s best to take small steps. A big challenge is hard to plan. If you make it into several smaller ones, you will make it more likely that you will succeed.

Use the small steps method

Have you just started running? It’s great that you want to run a marathon, but you need to realize that this is a plan for the indefinite future. Or in other words, this future should be concrete (set a date, e.g. next year), but this date should be far enough away to allow you to realize the plan.

In your daily workouts, don’t set yourself up for a marathon. Think about how your psyche will react when you want to aim for a marathon at all costs, and covering a few kilometers will seem like an insurmountable distance. In such a situation discouragement may come very quickly. How to deal with it?

Introduce the method of small steps. First, set a smaller goal, for example, five kilometers. Determine the time in which you want to improve your form to the extent that running such a distance will not be a problem. Write down training units that you can manage. Haven’t exercised before? Don’t go hitting the jackpot by training 7 days a week. This is the shortest route to exhaustion. Training every other day is enough.

When you manage to run 5 km, raise the bar higher. Set a new goal – let it be 10 km. After reaching each threshold, indulge yourself. Rewarding yourself will strengthen your motivation. Before you know it, you’ll be running your coveted marathon and strengthening your willpower in the process!

Featured photo: Freepik

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