Who Needs Willpower? The Easier, More Effective Way …

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So, you want to change a habit? You may have been led to believe that changing habits takes willpower. The truth is: willpower is the least effective and most difficult way to change anything.

There is a much easier, more effective way – it only takes a change in perspective.

 

 

 

There are three keys to this alternative to using willpower:

 

1. Every moment is a choice – even if it’s just a choice of where to put your focus in the moment

 

2. It’s easier to do something that you believe will feel good than to force yourself to do something you believe will feel bad

 

3. When you think a thought, a connection is made in your brain that causes a chemical reaction in your brain and body that produces a matching sensation – a feeling

 

Here are the steps to changing a habit easily and without the need for willpower:

 

Step One:

Become aware of what you’re thinking in the moment you have a choice of whether to go with the old behaviour or put into practice the new behaviour. For example: If you have decided you want to get fit by working out each morning before you go to work, and you find yourself lying in bed considering staying there and skipping the workout, notice what you’re thinking in that moment. It may be that the bed is so warm and comfortable, you had a late night, you need to catch up on sleep, you’ll go tomorrow instead, it’s cold outside… and so on.

 

The real choice you have in that moment is not whether or not to go with the old behaviour; it is whether or not to THINK ABOUT the old behaviour.

 

Step Two

Choose to put your focus on something different. Now, if you were using willpower, you might try to convince yourself that you *should* get up and do your workout. You may feel guilty when you don’t. By choosing to focus your mind differently, you won’t need to do this. Choose (and that is the key – it is a choice) to take your focus off the option of the old behaviour (in this case, choose to stop thinking about how nice it is to stay in bed), and choose to instead think about something you enjoy or look forward to about the new behaviour; or, if you don’t enjoy anything about the new behaviour, find something you can enjoy after you’ve done it. So, in the case of getting up to exercise vs lying in bed longer, you could look forward to the coffee you’ll have after the workout, or the shower, or how energised you feel after the exercise session.

 

Remember: YOU are the boss of your mind – even though it may not seem that way sometimes.

 

By choosing to change your mental focus before you take any action you are allowing your brain to produce the “feel good chemicals” that go with enjoyment before you make the decision. In addition to this, you are connecting that feel good feeling to the new behaviour instead of the old behaviour. In the example of lying in bed vs getting up to exercise: with the old behaviour, your brain is already linking enjoyment to lying in bed, and pain to having to get up; when you take your focus off lying in bed (just choose to not think about it), and put your focus on something you have to look forward to during or after the workout session, you are changing that connection in your brain. This will result in a natural desire to go with the new behaviour.

 

Important Note:

It’s important to realise that it may take some time for that new connection to become strong. This means you will need to keep choosing that new focus in the moment in order to train your brain and body to make the new link between the new behaviour and enjoyment.

 

No more willpower needed. Change your focus, and allow yourself to look forward to the new behaviour. Then follow what feels good! :) 

 

As always, let me know in the comments section or in the Unconditional Love Forums if you have any questions, or if you would like an example of how to use this technique to change a specific habit.

 

Love and Light and Magic xxx