Training Your Willpower
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa
Have you ever been challenged with keeping a goal? Maybe something you want to achieve, or something you want to stop? With a brand new year, it’s hard not to want to set some new goals – or maybe old goals that haven’t been met. And as the years push on, you might start to feel a little like Sisyphus - in Greek mythology, the king who was forced to push a boulder up a hill each day, only to watch it roll back down. Setting goals may not be the problem – often the problem lies in keeping them.
I’m just back from several days in Antigua, and one of my goals was to finish at least one of the 15 or so books that I’m currently reading. I’m a sucker for books, which are to me like big shiny baubles to a baby, and I’ve developed a habit of buying more than I can reasonably finish. And so I took with me just one, “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal. She’s a health psychologist and yoga therapist at Stanford University who studies, among other things, the effects of meditation. And I’m thrilled to report that I did finish it, with a little help from some of the ideas between its covers, which I’m going to share with you here.
Train your willpower physiology
a. Be mindful of what you are thinking and feeling.
b. Feel or imagine your common humanity with others.
c. Offer yourself encouragement instead of criticism.
Make friends with your future self
Predict your failure
Surf the urge
Practise Observing, Breathing and Recommitting
Serious about achieving your goals? Meditation is a great way to start.
Donna offers a holistic perspective on the relationship and healing of physical and emotional pain.