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Get Ready For Change and Boost Your Willpower

In the face of temptation, you must rely on your willpower to by pass those unhealthy desires unscathed. New studies are unveiling new details about this elusive characteristic. In dealing with New Year's resolutions, I thought it more than appropriate to share a few techniques to give your willpower a boost that I read about on the health blog for the New York Times.

  • Oddly enough, laughter has been know to bolster self control. There has been recent research supporting the notion that laughter is the best medicine, so this connection might not be as far fetched as it sounds.
  • Keeping your glucose levels high seems to be a factor as well. This might be the reason that dieters eating six small meals are successful at losing weight. By eating frequently, these dieters are able to maintain even blood sugar levels, which help them stay even keel.

Curious to see the other two ways? Then


  • Practice might just make perfect, or at least boost your will power. Research seems to suggest that self-control improves with practice. To strengthen will power, you begin by testing yourself with small challenges, so bigger challenges are no longer appear insurmountable.

  • Focus one change at a time. If you are trying to make a bunch of major changes all at once you will likely lose focus and feel more than a bit miserable. So don't try to quit smoking, lose weight, stop biting your nails and quit swearing all at the same time. Pick one major resolution to tackle and when you feel like you have conquered the change, move onto the next goal. Plus, by the time you start to make the second change you will know yourself a little bit better by having all that practice on the making the first change.

    Good luck!

Join The Conversation
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
I can give up junk foods easily, but I just CAN'T give up sweets!!! I'll have to try one of those to help me...
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Willpower is sort of like any other muscle; it gets stronger as you use it but don't expect it to be "bodybuilder" strong right away. When I first started losing weight, I literally had to not buy ANY cookies, candy, or junk food for about 6 months because I really couldn't trust myself around them. I started to realize though, that when I went to functions where there was free donuts or cookies, I could resist them. Pretty soon, I realized that I could eat only one cookie or a couple of pieces of candy instead of the whole package. It definitely gets easier over time, but you have to start really slow or you could set yourself up for failure.
almostloli almostloli 9 years
will power really is STRONG and a major factor, in my opinion (but it can fade too.. so better beware)
suzanne suzanne 9 years
Honestly, I really do not think that willpower exists... at least not in any reliable form. (Yeah, I've sais this before...) I'm convinced that we have uncontrollable chemical triggers that guide many of our food choices. Better to adjust your food preferences to fit your lifestyle - lighten 'em up and eliminate the temptations.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
I've been thinking a lot about commitment rather than will power. For me, commitment implies consistency and dedication to a goal, especially in the long term. Focusing on why I'm doing something versus forcing my self helps me stay clear and positive about my actions.
rumpel2 rumpel2 9 years
Will power does improve with practice...i never thought of it like that, but after reading this post i wondered if mine had gotten better over time and the answer is YES! it is also true that i lose all if i try to practice self-control over a lot of things at the same time, so one thing at a time is definitely the way to go...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Will power does improve over time. Last yr it was hard for me in the beginning but after awhile it was a piece of cake to say no to bad foods.
leilanidream leilanidream 9 years
i love the part about laughter being the best medicine
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