Discover Automatic Willpower
This post is about how to discover automatic willpower. Relying on willpower alone can be such an effort and strain at times that we can easily become derailed and back to square one. When it comes to dieting, kicking a bad habit we all know the value placed on willpower. This post looks at a lovely way to bypass willpower at times and find yourself moving towards what you really want with ease.
Moving towards what you desire is the positive way to achieve anything. As opposed to moving away from what you don’t want, that’s stressful!
There is a way to program yourself to carry out tasks and make better choices without the feeling that you’re battling yourself.
The more obstacles you can successfully overcome the more confident and determined you’ll become and the less you’ll rely on willpower.
The simple key to uncover automatic willpower is what’s known as Implementation Intention (but don’t let the name put you off reading on!).
Now think of a GOAL, make it one you absolutely want and will commit to. Picture the future you having successfully completing your goal. What does it feel like, are you smiling? Happy? Content? what can you see, hear? Really get involved. Are their compliments and congratulations, is your inner voice the one praising you? Having a goal (grounded in reality!) is the first step. This is what you will be immersed in when temptation comes your way.
Good sleep will help you determine/ prioritise your goals 4 Ways That Dreaming Enhances your Life (welcomehypnotherapy.co.uk)
2 Parts to Success
- The moving towards the clear, positive, future you. Long term focus helps us make better “here and now” choices.
- Learning How to make some of your responses automatic (and stop willpower from having to do all the heavy lifting!).
They are simple “IF” “THEN” plans They help you start towards a goal, keep you on track, arm you against obstacles and stop you getting overwhelmed.
Start with your goal, the wonderful one you worked on above.
- Make a plan, listing the steps of how you’re going to get there.
- List what might get in the way/ challenge you.
Implementation Intentions & How to Make Them
There’s a formula! And it’s very simple!
“IF” Situation X happens “THEN” I will do behaviour Y so I can reach my goal Z
Apply this to each of the obstacles you listed above. Here’s an example.
Imagine you want to lose weight. You’ve a wedding coming up and the outfit already felt tight the last time you tried it on. You commit to your fitness/ weight loss goal. Identify cupcakes as one obstacle. Using the formula above you come up with:
“IF” I feel tempted to eat a cupcake (X) “THEN“- I will put it somewhere I can’t see it, the attic if needs be (Y). So that I can feel comfortable in my outfit when I go to the wedding”(Z)
Automatic Willpower -When the Magic Happens
Not only are you creating new habits, when you carry out these plans, you’re also freeing up your conscious mind. As you have already made your decision, there’s no fretting or weighing up to be done. You can turbo charge an intention, to unconsciously act in a certain beneficial way, by matching a real world object to your goal. Take this example of unconsciously motivating yourself to exercise.
“IF I want to have a run in the morning THEN I will slip on a green t- shirt. So, I can achieve my fitness goal”
You can probably see where this is going. Your subconscious is associating the 2 factors.
Green t-shirt = run. (Buy a few if needs be!) pretty soon motivation to run will become an automatic process. Your subconscious is also clever enough to recognise when you need rest. A green T shirt will not be going on. Its easy to see how you could adapt this to any scenario. Pick something you associate with carrying out a desired task and link them up.
Implementation Intentions are simple but effective plans that help you bypass the need for willpower. It moves willpower to the back burner with every successful step you make towards your goal. I would love to hear about your successes using this method.
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