The willpower workout

According to recent psychology studies, a person with strong willpower is likely to be healthier, happier and more prosperous. But while we all recognize that making an effort is key in achieving something worthwhile, it’s not always easy to exert the necessary willpower to build the beneficial habits and routines that shape our daily lives.

Happily, we’re not born with a fixed amount of willpower: it’s a mental muscle that can be trained to become smarter and stronger. Developing an iron will is something you can work on and improve on a daily basis by facing up to and overcoming those everyday impulses and temptations – follow these tips to help strengthen your resolve:

Willpower is like a muscle: it needs exercise

Take small steps, every day. Rather than setting yourself huge, daunting goals at the outset, start with small challenges and overcome them. That way you’ll stay determined throughout and, little by little, you’ll achieve the larger goals.


If there are several things in your life you’d like to work on it’s best to tackle them one at a time – that way you’ll be super focused, and more likely to succeed.

Eat little and often

When your blood sugar levels are low, your ability to exert self-control crumbles. This is why experts warn against skipping meals, as having plenty of energy is one of the best ways to maintain the willpower needed to form a new habit, such as quitting smoking or starting a new exercise routine or diet.

Tense up

Resisting temptation isn’t easy, but there’s an unusual trick that can help you to overcome those sudden urges. Next time you start drooling over cake, tense your biceps or clench your hand into a fist for one minute. It may seem like a strange way to exercise your willpower, but it works!

Do something selfless

Carrying out a good deed has been shown to boost self-control and physical strength.

Buddy up

Find someone with a similar mindset who you can share this experience with. You’ll be able to get through moments of weakness more easily together than on your own.

Treat yourself

If you’ve achieved one of your objectives allow yourself a reward. You know what it is you love and long for most, so go for it. Within reason of course…

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