How to develop willpower and discipline.

Willpower is a vital ingredient in the recipe of success.  No matter what your goals are, you are going to have to have guts to make your dreams a reality.  Willpower is basically just a daily commitment toward your goals, it means that you are in it for the long haul and that you can say no to instant gratification in order to protect your long term visions.  So we all know dedication and willpower are important but how do you develop it?  Why do some people unwaveringly decline fun, food, and friends for their priorities while others struggle to turn down seconds on desert?

Know what you want, why you want it, and what it will take to get it.

Willpower and dedication don’t develop quickly, they are personality traits that are forged and grow stronger with each conscious effort to turn something down for the greater good, but it all has to start within yourself.  Willpower starts with desire; desire for change, desire for something better than what you have at the moment.  You have to see the value of what you want, you have to know what you are willing to sacrifice to make your vision a reality, you have to know that times will be hard, and that you are willing to see it through to the bitter end.  Having a realistic expectation of the kind of work it will take to accomplish your goals will also better prepare you for the sacrifices you will need to make later.


Start small:  Set small goals and get them done.

Rather than making your first goal something that will take you years to accomplish, start small.

Your short term goals should be measurable and should be accomplishable quickly (think within a few months tops), then set daily and weekly goals that will hold you accountable.  For instance, rather than just setting a goal to lose 100lbs within a year, set smaller goals to hold you accountable.  Try to lose 1.5-3lbs per week, if you do the math it adds up to roughly 75-150 lbs in a year.  Not only will you build more confidence and see results sooner, but you can begin achieving your goals on week one, this is going to keep you going when times get hard.  Instead of thinking of the 98.5lbs you have left to lose this year, you’ll be focused on the 1.5lbs that you have already lost.

Hold yourself accountable to your daily actions.

Will power comes down to consistent daily action.  As you start doing the things you need to do each day to reach your goals, you will also start saying no to the things that might distract you from reaching them.  As you learn to say no to “negative” influences in your life and learn to say yes to the actions that will make you successful you will become more firm in your resolve to meet your goals.  By starting small and hitting your goals consistently you will experience the positive reinforcement of success, you will begin to see that bypassing the instant gratification of temptation and standing strong will offer much more fulfillment and reward than the little distractions of life.

There is no secret to developing will power, you find something you are passionate about, you make goals and hold yourself accountable to their fulfillment, and as you start to see success it gets easier and you can reach farther.  No one is born with the ability to be a disciplined machine, it is something that is learned, over time, step by step.