How to develop willpower

The question of how to develop willpower has been bothering mankind for years. Each of us is faced with the fact that we cannot talk ourselves to do something or, on the contrary, to refuse to do something.

These situations make us look for ways to strengthen your own ability to resist the circumstances.

Research by many scientists has produced a range of different exercises and practices designed to develop our capacity for self-control. Each person can determine the most convenient way for themselves and use it. Individually selected exercises can strengthen the right part of the brain, depending on the characteristics of perception.

What is willpower

Self-control (willpower) is a person’s ability to respond correctly to any internal conflict. All people are subject to various minute weaknesses, often not quite useful and correct. Only those with enough discipline are able to fight these urges and bring their ideas to life.

An example would be the urge to have a snack in the middle of the night or to buy a greasy pie instead of a healthy snack. We understand that this is wrong, but we are often unable to overpower ourselves. The result is harm to the body, and we are tormented by remorse.

Control of their own impulses – this is how we differ significantly from the animals. If we don’t train it, then there is a chance to harm not only ourselves but also those around us. It is about the importance and ways of training willpower will be discussed in this article. You will find many useful tips and you will understand why it is so important to say “no” to yourself in time.

Why it is important to develop willpower

First of all, you should understand that self-control is not an innate quality, it can and should be improved. In fact, it is the basis and support for your personality. The more time you give to the development of this ability, the more chances you have to achieve success in any endeavor.

During his life, a man sets a lot of goals. But most of them turn out to be unattainable. Or does it just seem that way? In fact, most people just give up on the things they start, submitting to their momentary impulses. Laziness, apprehension, temporary interest in something new – all this prevents us from becoming the person we sometimes see in our dreams. That is why it is important to develop willpower before it is too late to change something.

Volitional qualities and their development

The formation of self-control begins in early childhood. At the age of 3-4 years, a child already begins to understand what he or she can and cannot do, regardless of his or her personal desires. More active development of self-control, which will play a major role in the future, occurs during adolescence. By the time a person reaches adulthood, he or she is supposed to have enough self-control to be able to stand up to himself or herself.

But not everyone can really improve this quality to the desired level. In some cases, the will is suppressed by more authoritarian relatives. As a result, manifestations of self-discipline is absent, and developed only certain qualities. In order to gain the maximum ability to set tasks and perform them to the end, it is important to develop each of these qualities.


Manifestation of independence begins in early adolescence. But the trouble is that most children ruin this quality with prohibitions, punishments, and ignoring. As a result, at a more mature age, manifesting one’s own thoughts, ideas and desires becomes a daunting task.

Nevertheless, it is possible to develop independence in a small period of time. It does not require any special qualities. The main thing is to find a starting point from which to start. This can be almost anything:

A decision to change jobs, measured and unwavering.

Opening an online exhibition of your work.

Buying a gym membership.

A vacation spent differently than usual. For example, a long trip instead of a trip to the cottage.

The main thing is that any decision should be your own, without advice or hints. All responsibility for the result will lie on you, and rightly so. The ability to be responsible for your actions and deeds is the basis of independence, without which an adult cannot live a full life.


This quality of a person goes on the same level as independence. In fact, one is impossible without the other. It is initiative that is responsible for taking the first step toward making a decision. When planning how to increase willpower, put a lot of emphasis on the ability to advocate for your own ideas.

The main enemies of initiative are laziness, fear, and inertia. They can sit inside every person. The main thing is not to give them at the mercy of your personality. Otherwise you run the risk of spending your life waiting for good things to suddenly fall on your head. And this happens only in fairy tales and movies. In real life, you need to do a great and time-consuming work on himself.

The easiest way to develop initiative in yourself is to find a case that will really interest and capture you. Then you will subconsciously try to develop it more than just a chore. Don’t forget about creative development as well. Occupations where you need to engage your imagination and fantasy help you develop the ability to promote your own ideas and plans in a beautiful and interesting way.

Be persistent

Taking the first step toward your desired outcome is very important. But it is equally important to be able to keep yourself interested. Persistence as a strong-willed quality is a guarantee that you will be able to see any matter through to completion. In many ways it depends on the type of personality. Hot-tempered and bright people can start to promote the idea quickly, interesting and active, but over time burn out. More thorough individuals, who have enough patience and persistence, usually cannot find the courage to start.

More often than not, it is this quality that is referred to as willpower. To develop this side of the character you need to:

To train yourself to bring to the end of any business begun.

Learn to weed out ideas for which you do not have enough strength and patience, especially if you clearly understand it.

While getting down to business, calculate how much time and resources it will take you. That not to burn out and reach the end, just break it into equal stages.

Be sure to stimulate yourself by thinking about the result of your work.

Self-mastery and self-control

Remember that indecision, fear, and inertia are inherent in every person. It is enough to understand how to develop self-discipline to overcome all the negative manifestations within yourself. First and foremost, don’t forget that manifesting self-discipline is a decisive step out of your personal comfort zone. It is often difficult, uncomfortable, and with minimal comfort to the nervous system. But this is characteristic only of the beginning. With sufficiently developed self-control, you won’t notice the negatives.

The ideal training of self-control is sports in any of its manifestations. The main thing is to set yourself certain goals and persevere toward them. For example, learn to lift a certain weight or hone your marksmanship in shooting. It is quite possible to set higher results, for example, to run a marathon or to become a participant of any local competition. The main task in this case is not to give up under any circumstances.

Start planning

Without the habit of purposeful work, you can get distracted by all kinds of little things. This makes it very difficult to get to your goal. Increasing your willpower means learning to limit yourself from these little things while you’re busy with a particular task. To-do planning helps you weed out the things that aren’t worth your attention right now.

Stephen Covey, an expert in time management, talked about a simple scheme you can use to systematize all your possible to-do’s and activities.

Important and urgent. In this category should include things that require your immediate attention. For example, force majeure, deadlines and any critical situations. In the same category you should put the development of your own projects.

Important, but not urgent. This is a search for new connections, useful acquaintances and connections for development. Making plans, by the way, also belong to this category.

Unimportant, but urgent. Here should be your personal calls and meetings, communication on informal topics that do not directly affect the work.

Unimportant and non-urgent. This category is more for idleness than for business. This includes watching movies and TV shows, surfing social networks, computer games, and more.

It is most convenient to make such a plan for no longer than a week. Then you can control and regulate your own actions according to the developed list. At first, this rather rigid regime will deliver discomfort, but over time you will get used to a rational use of time.

Planning your day the right way

Many personal development trainings and consultants teach us that we need to plan our day. This is a very valid point, but there are some peculiarities of such planning that need to be considered.

First of all, remember that everyone’s day schedule is different . The fact is that each body has its own biorhythms, time of activity and dimensionality. These criteria are very important to consider when making a plan for the day.

It is worth to observe yourself for some time, fixing the peak of activity. Already on the basis of this observation you can make a rough schedule. Following it for the first few days, make adjustments and corrections so that the schedule becomes as comfortable as possible. In this way you will not only develop willpower, but also increase your own efficiency.

Helpful Habits

Forming healthy habits is another step toward answering the question of how to develop discipline. This process is not easy and requires persistence every day. But as a result, you will get a great workout for such qualities as focus, responsibility and attentiveness. The main thing is to choose a useful habit that will become your daily trainer. However, they can be several:

Keeping a diary. This will help you control your activity for the day. Based on the notes, you will be able to adjust your work most accurately so that it brings more benefits and less fatigue.

Keeping track of expenses. A useful activity that helps you not only to learn self-control, but also to save significantly.

Morning exercise. The habit of doing even the simplest exercises every day will give you a charge of vivacity and teach you to observe the regime of the day.

Replenishment of the vocabulary of foreign words. Make it a rule to learn 3-4 new words every day. In this way you will stimulate your memory and as a result you will get one more quality in your portfolio.

Read one book a week. This will not only teach you how to strengthen your willpower, but also greatly expand your horizons and erudition.


Knowing how to meditate properly solves several problems at once. You will be able to relax even after the most difficult stressful situations, strengthen your health and spirit, and raise your personal effectiveness. As for willpower, meditation will be a great way to exercise passively on a daily basis.

Essentially, self-control is the ability to control your own thoughts and emotions. This is what meditation teaches us. By devoting as little as 30 minutes a day to this activity, you will have a strong nervous system and the ability to cope with any stress. Together with it the level of your self-control will considerably raise. In addition, the ability to effortlessly direct your thoughts in the right direction will have a positive impact on achieving efficiency in work.

Healthy Eating

We already figured out how to direct the energy in the right direction. Now it’s important to understand where to get enough energy to achieve new goals and objectives.

The body gets its energy from food. So it’s important to watch what you eat. Exclude from your diet fast food and too much fatty food. You should also control your sugar intake.

Try not to have snacks on the run. Allocate enough time so that you can eat in peace. This will not only help your digestive system function better, but it will also help you get used to order. Be sure to eat fruits and vegetables (some can also be eaten raw). Fish and lean meat will benefit brain function. Also do not forget about water. The norm of an adult is 2-2.5 liters per day.


As we mentioned above, sports are a perfect workout for willpower. It doesn’t matter what kind of sport you do. Running, swimming, riding a horse – all will be equally beneficial. It’s also important to be systematic and follow a workout plan. Don’t allow yourself to skip classes. Only a serious illness or injury can serve as a weighty reason.

Psychologists say that the best way to train in a group. So you will not only find new friends and like-minded people. Motivation for success increases significantly when there is an “opponent” in front of you. Healthy competition tones you up and makes you strive for higher results.


Figuring out how to strengthen the ability to self-control and discipline, do not stop at the development of only one quality. The issue of pumping self-control should be approached comprehensively. Only then will you be able to take full control of your emotions. Psychologist and PhD Kelly McGonigal believes that willpower is like a mental muscle that needs to be constantly pumped.