11 Essential steps to building Will Power

The basis of success and achievement is to have the willpower to see a plan through. By this time of the year most people will have been broken their New Year Resolutions. The gyms are no longer crowded and most people will have resumed the nasty habits they promised to stop at the beginning of the year.

Resolutions that were made without proper planning are likely to fail. Outlined below are 11 steps you can use to build your Will Power.

1. Planning:

Any goal worth achieving must be something which is important to you. When something is so important, we spend time researching and planning every detail. We also spend a little time daydreaming about it. This is a powerful part of planning. It sets a subconscious programme which can mimic having achieved the goal already. Buying a new home is a nice example.

2. Planning for failure:
You must see a failure as an essential part of the learning process. Before setting out on your goals you must plan for difficulties. Learn from the ways which do not work. They will make you stronger. Some people who started at the gym on New Year’s Day were not ready, when the effort began to hurt, they were not ready to accept the fact that discomfort is part of growing beyond their comfort zone; the boundary beyond which success lies. In the example of buying a house; there is stress associated to the extent of a deal failing. A better house – the dream house – always turns up in the end if you persist in your quest.

3. Plan your launch date:

Perhaps the primary reason for the failure of New Year resolutions is that planning is not complete. It is not possible for the entire population of the planet to be perfectly prepared for their goal on the first day of the year. Do not set out on any journey in life without proper preparation. When the time is right, the plan will work.

4. New Habits:
A New Year resolution, if it is to be successful, will you require to develop new habits. A habit is a subconscious programme which is so well rehearsed that we do it without conscious thought. Habits make up our daily routines. Losing weight, getting fit or quitting smoking require significant effort at the beginning.

There is some discussion around the internet about how to form new habits and how long it takes, neither discussion is of much value. How long it takes depends on the challenge. If you follow the tips on this page they will collectively support the changing of habits. Thinking about the goal and collecting information is essential to the process of change. Gradually the determination will grow until the urge to achieve the goal becomes unstoppable.

5. Prioritise:
By the time you are truly ready to start, your plan will be in some detail. Break it down into the essential sequence. What must you do first, second etc. make each step achievable. Being achievable does not mean easy. Small achievable goals are the seeds of success. In normal day- to- day goal setting it is good to place some of the more difficult steps at the top of your to-do list. This boosts motivation by giving you the buzz of achievement. It is the essential internal chemistry of success.

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6. Take a risk:
A goal worth achieving must stretch you beyond comfort. You will never run a marathon if you never increase the effort or the distance you run each day. Worthwhile goals will require effort. It must be for a purpose which you deeply wish for and will enjoy. Then the effort will bring pleasure and give the motivation to intensify the effort.

7. Make a commitment:
Once you decide to embark on your plan make a commitment. Do this by telling those people who are important to you what you wish to achieve and commit to a timescale. Only tell those who will support you. There will be many who would like to see you fail or accuse you of bragging because they cannot be as motivated as you. This causes the wrong frame of mind for success. A team is successful because the fans are supportive. You do not need negativity from the stands.

8. Associate with like-minded people:

This follows directly from the point above. If you want to move forward you must associate with people who understand your ambitions and who understand your field of interest. This is necessary because you need the support of people who will help you in ways which you will never believe at the outset.

9) Altruism:
This follows yet again from the points above which are both acknowledgements of the power and impact the support of other people can have on you. The emotional support is as valuable as any physical or financial support. This must not be a one way flow. Do unto others what you wish they would do to you. Never take anyone for granted. Only employ people when you need them and then remember that you needed them and value them accordingly. I always say that I would have achieved little in life without a lot of great people. I tried never to be the ‘boss’ but one of the team. This may be one of the most important lessons you will learn.

10) Build the Mindset:
You will see many quotes about ‘walk-the-walk’ etcetera. There is a lot of truth in these quotes. This does not mean strutting like a peacock but it is essential to begin to live the life you aspire to. The articles on this blog about mindset and the placebo effect are very important to understand. This area of scientific research is growing and demonstrating clearly how mindset creates the environment for growth or intelligence and management of the necessary hormones for success.

Will Power

11) Don’t over-train:

If you go out to train, for a running challenge for example, it is very important not to push the training too quickly. Injury will follow. A slow, planned and determined build-up  will bring the best results. Remember that body chemistry underlies your development and the essential state of mind. Growth requires things to work properly. State-of-mind means just that; a healthy, happy, motivational mind. It is the brain which drives the essential body chemistry.

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Also published on Medium.

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