Sounds good, right?
We often think willpower is the key to all success. But actually, willpower isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
What if I told you that by working WITH inner aspects of yourself, rather than forcing yourself to change, you’ll create the life and habits you want?
Inner aspects? I know that sounds quite woo-woo, but identity based goals, and intention setting are effective at creating change long term, rather than using short term goals with spurts of willpower. (Hmm, that sounded a bit dodgy).
In this blog post I’m going to share three easy ways to connect to something better than willpower so you can reach goals and create a life you love to live.
Change your belief
Belief systems rule!
You have belief systems operating right now, and you’ll know what they are by how you talk. Identify your core-beliefs, and change them over time and you’ll find that you don’t need to rely on your failing willpower muscle all the time.
Note: Willpower IS important. Lots of habits on the way to greatness, are BORING and really do need willpower. Yet, it’s still easier when you have a good belief system underlying that.
How to identify your belief system
When you talk to yourself, or to others do you say things like:
- I can never do that
- I’m not that sort of person
- I need to look the right way before I can wear that
- I need to be perfect before I feel confident
These are all proof of your beliefs. You believe that you aren’t good enough, and you’re not brave and you need to wait to feel perfect before you attempt anything new.
But what kind of belief system operates in someone who says these sorta things:
- I am someone who tries
- I don’t give up when things get hard
- I’m not perfect, but small steps are what it takes
- I treat myself kindly and this helps me grow in confidence
So, you won’t follow through on your goals or resolutions if you keep telling yourself that you are a certain type of person.
Words are important! Listen to how you speak to yourself right now, to see what needs to be changed.
Change your vision
You might set goals, but haven’t visualized yourself reaching them or living them. This is a big trip up.
You need to be able to visualize your life when you reach goals. Visualization sounds a bit daunting, but it’s basically creating time to identify how you want to feel and what that looks like for you.
If you have already created a vision, then you need to check to see if it’s the right sort of vision.
It’s no good having a vision of yourself living a life that doesn’t feel good, doesn’t seem like you, and feels uncomfortably alien.
Change your vision to see YOU in the picture.
You with all your flaws and bad habits and characteristics. If you do this, your powerful mind will see that you as you are can live that sort of life. Don’t make yourself some sort of perfect person in these future hopes, because I have news for you. You will still be YOU no matter where you go (and your brain knows this).
Create small tiny habits and quick wins
Like goals, willpower works best short term, and in quick spurts (that word again).
So use willpower as it should be used – for some things, not everything, and only for a short time.
Create a safe beginner’s space for you to reach tiny habits. You’ll only need a tiny amount of willpower, but when you see yourself reach those mini goals, you’ll feel good. This is the feeling that stays with you and will help propel you forwards in future endevours.
On your to-do list, or tracker, make sure to include really small goals like
- Don’t go on social media for the first 5 minutes of the morning
- Sit in a meditation position and take one breath
- Put 50p in a jar each week
These are doable. Don’t laugh at their teeny size. A book that helps hammer this message home is Atomic Habits by James Clear. He sets out why tiny habits win the day.
When you make little things happen, and tick them off on a chart, you WILL get a buzz. A hit of dopamine in fact, and this will help in keeping you going when your goals get bigger!