With New Year’s resolutions just around the corner, now is a good time to beef up your willpower game. Willpower is just like a physical muscle, we need to work to keep it in shape. When we experience any type of stress or negative emotions, we release a hormone called cortisol. This chemical blocks some of our ability to make rational decisions and causes us to be more impulsive. This means if you’re stressed and you haven’t been working on your willpower skills, you’ve got no shot. You = 0, Leftover Christmas cookies= 1
But wait, there is hope! Below are 6 ways you can recharge your willpower, and get it back into fighting shape so you can take on any New Year’s challenge. You’ve got this!
1. Get some sleep: More sleep means less stress, making it easier for willpower to knock out poor decisions.
2. Don’t let sugar get in your way: Some research suggests sugar triggers similar brain reactions as highly addictive drugs, making it extremely difficult to fight cravings. By consuming large amounts of sugar, you are choosing to make things a lot harder for your willpower!
3. Watch the water cooler talk: Unfortunately, it can be satisfying to gossip with family members or at work. Exercise your willpower by fighting this temptation. Bonus: You’ve felt better overall by avoiding these negative interactions.
4. Drive the speed limit: The ultimate test on willpower! Set your vehicle exactly to the speed limit and stay there, even with other cars zipping by. Safety is a plus here!
5. Give it a break by planning: We can’t continuously work our willpower 24/7. Just like a muscle, it’s going to fatigue. Take the work out of decision making by planning your day.
6. “No technology Tuesdays”: Ok so maybe we can’t go an entire day without technology, but try giving yourself a break from it. Phones and television provide a lot of instant gratification, beating your willpower to a pulp. Choose a day or time of day to limit technology use to the bare minimum. If you receive a Facebook notification, choose to ignore it. This is basically like doing will power push-ups.
Most important of all, stay positive, keep fighting, and do your best. New Year’s resolution 2017 is going to be the best to date with your newfound willpower strength!