Mindset, Willpower and Resolutions
What a perfect time to be thinking about mindset and willpower. We are at the beginning of a new year and at that particular time when people start making all those promises to themselves. You know the ones I’m talking about. The most popular being to lose weight, exercise, or to give up a bad habit. We call them New Year’s resolutions and they are mocked as much as they are made. It’s even pretty normal for people to vow to NOT make one in hopes that they will actually achieve more. Why would that ever be an option? The reason is that quite often we mere humans have high hopes, big dreams, and tall aspirations without the proper amount of momentum behind them. They never get off the ground and sometimes we just start over. It has a lot to do with mindset and willpower. But, what’s the difference and better yet, which is more important?
The Low Down
Willpower usually gets the bad wrap for everything. You cheat on your diet- no willpower. Skipped out on the gym- no willpower. You gave up speeding three times already this week- no willpower. What even is willpower? It’s defined it as the ability to control yourself. Well, if you aren’t controlling yourself then who is? The truth is a little more complicated than that.
Willpower is about self-control, discipline, emotional awareness, and mental focus. Physically you can go to the gym or put down that doughnut. But, why don’t you? It isn’t because someone else is controlling you and making you drive to Krispy Kreme every night. You haven’t been possessed. You are in control and you just aren’t doing the things that you promised yourself that you’d do, the things that you committed to. The reason you committed to these things is most likely in order to reach some type of goal that will bring happiness or success. Do you still want happiness and success? Of course, you do.
The problem isn’t your lack of willpower. Willpower is a finite resource without the right fuel to keep it going. One of the most important pieces needed to fuel your willpower is to have the right mindset. The real reason that you are or aren’t doing something that you set your mind to is most likely that you didn’t really set your mind to it.
Thinking that you’d like to improve in one area or another and mapping out goals or steps to get you there is an excellent way to achieve even the most difficult of tasks. When it’s time to head off to the gym or say no to a familiar bad habit the thing that will ultimately sway your physical decision has a lot to do with what type of mindset you have. Think of your mindset as the food you put in your body. We all know that we need to eat and stay hydrated to stay alive. Food is your body’s fuel. But, the type of fuel that you put in it has a lot to do with how it performs physically. If you put in healthy foods to nourish your body and drink plenty of water you are going to be more energetic, be in a better mood, think more clearly, and be less likely to succumb to illness. If you overfill your body with food or feed it full of sugary foods or foods high in unnatural additives you’ll find yourself more sluggish, you’ll gain more weight, and you are also more likely to keep making poor dietary decisions.
Choosing to have a positive or growth driven mindset is like putting all of those leafy greens in your body. If you start off anything with a negative mindset you’ll be more likely to chip away at your willpower. So, feed your willpower the right kind of food. Think positively, reward yourself for your successes, and think of your failures as nothing more than a learning experience. Even the language you use should be fuel for your willpower. Don’t put yourself down or dwell on things that you haven’t accomplished. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Surround yourself with positive people that encourage you to be your best. Always keep your goals in mind. Soon you’ll have a well-nourished mindset and more willpower than you ever thought possible.