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Resist Temptation. Strengthen Your Willpower. Improve Self Control.

Updated on February 11, 2014

Temptation

A temptation is something that causes a strong desire to do something you should not do. You want something in the moment but getting it can stop you from getting what you really in the long run. I wanted to eat dessert so I ate it. It was not a temptation because eating dessert did not stop me from getting other things I wanted. When I decided I wanted to lose some belly fat dessert became a temptation.

When you give into temptation you are sabotaging yourself. You are making it harder to achieve one of your goals. Instant gratification is when you are rewarded right away. You can get it from eating junk food. Delayed gratification is when you are rewarded later. It can takes weeks or months to get the results you want. You can get delayed gratification from diet and exercise. Do something and get rewarded immediately or do something and maybe get the reward eventually. There is an uncertainty with delayed gratification. Temptations can provide instant gratification. If you are waiting and waiting for a reward then resisting temptation can become very difficult.

Willpower

Willpower is the ability to resist temptation and do what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals. You can improve your willpower with practice by using self-control. I made a list of a few things you can do that require a lot of self-control. They are things that I do or have done in the past. Doing them on a regular basis can improve your willpower. My willpower is strong.

  1. Drink water instead of high calorie drinks.
  2. Fill up on healthy food. Don't eat unhealthy dessert or junk food.
  3. Exercise for half an hour before you sit down to watch TV.
  4. Hold the plank position or do an L-sit for 2 minutes a day.
  5. Close your eyes and relax in a quiet room for 15 minutes.
  6. Use deep slow belly breathing whenever you are not exercising.
  7. Spend 15 minutes a day stretching and balancing.
  8. Wake up at the same time each day without an alarm.
  9. Bike, run or walk long distances at least once a week.
  10. Spend 5 minutes cleaning your house every day.

L-sits are great for improving willpower.
L-sits are great for improving willpower. | Source

Goals

Another way to improve your willpower is to make better goals. First think of a few things you really want to accomplish, write them down and include the date you want them completed by. Only focus on a small number of goals because you have a limited amount of time and energy. Next think of things you want to do to accomplish those goals. Your goals should inspire you to take action. In the moment it is easy to forget to do things that will help you achieve your goal. So keep thinking of your goals throughout the day.

People often say they have no willpower with food. They keep giving into temptation. One reason is the goal. Weight loss goals are rarely inspiring and hunger kills willpower. Another reason is because they don't want to take the necessary steps to achieve the end result. They want the food they are not supposed to eat as much or more than they want to lose weight. As a result they have very little willpower. If you want more willpower with food then come up with a good goal, do things you actually want to do to achieve it and satisfy your hunger.

I want a firm flat stomach and I want to get it by exercising, drinking water and filling up on healthy food. My desire to do that is greater than my desire to drink high calorie drinks and eat a lot of junk food. However I want to eat dessert and eating a little bit of dessert should not stop me from from reaching my goal. Part of the reason that I don't give into temptation is because I allow myself to eat a little bit of dessert. Losing 20 pounds is a bad goal. Becoming lean and strong is a good goal.

Biking to the beach is a very good goal if you want to be lean and strong.
Biking to the beach is a very good goal if you want to be lean and strong. | Source

Rewarding Yourself

There are bad ways to reward yourself and good ways. Giving into temptation is bad. You reward yourself and sabotage yourself at the same time. The longer you go without rewarding yourself the more willpower you need to avoid temptation. A good way to reward yourself is to think of things you want to do that will not stop you from reaching your long term goals. Sometimes the reward can help. I reward myself by spending time relaxing at the beach, eating healthy foods I like, playing video games, watching TV, enjoying the scenery outside, etc.

I started biking to provincial parks with beaches in the summer. The bike ride provided me with lots of exercise and I rewarded myself by spending time at the beach. In the long term my reward was a leaner stronger body. Since I was rewarding myself almost every time I went for a bike ride it required very little willpower. I look forward to my long bike rides. Without the quick gratification I don't think I could have gotten myself to do it. Watching TV or playing video games is my reward for working out. I exercise before I turn the TV on or exercise while I watch TV. I also have video games that provide me with some exercise.

When you reward yourself you are less likely to give into temptation.

Goal
Method
Reward
Delayed Reward
Get Fit
Bike
Beach
Lose Fat and Gain Muscle
Flatten Stomach
Cardio Workouts
TV
Look and Feel Slimmer
Bulk Up
Weight Lifting
Video Games
Look and Feel Stronger
Be More Relaxed
Meditation
Feeling of Deep Relaxation
More Energy and Improved Health
Reward yourself while or shortly after you work on your goal.
Reward yourself while or shortly after you work on your goal. | Source

© 2014 Michael H

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    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Great information here. Willpower is just like another muscle - it can be trained and it can also be overtaxed by trying too hard at one time!

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      4 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Good job. You can never have enough advice on self-control. Simple but effective techniques. Thx. Voted up.

    • Isabelgmz profile image

      Maria Isabel 

      4 years ago from Tampa

      Thanks for writing ! I am in this process now so it helped a lot ! keep writing:)

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