If you’re pursuing a long held dream, a short term goal, or just need a bit of willpower to get through the festive season, you need to be good to yourself.
So often when want to change something we get stuck in the ‘I mustn’t do…” We focus on the negative and often we end up punishing ourselves. If we want to lose weight, for example, we deny ourselves lots of nice food and eat things we don’t really want, like limp lettuce, or skip breakfast. Yet our brains need a steady supply of glucose to form neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that reinforce self discipline and tell us what to do! If we don’t have glucose we don’t have willpower.
Other research by neuroscientists has shown that feeling bad, guilty or self critical (as we probably will feel when we don’t achieve something we’ve set out to do) shifts the brain to the craving state. However, feeling good wires it up for action and a long term reward.
One helpful thing you can do to boost your willpower is to create a future memory. Picture in your mind’s eye how the future will be if you have achieved your goals and it will help you think more concretely about present choices. I have a free audio visualisation on this site, accessible from any page on the blog so you can try it out. This link explains further: What’s Your Perfect Working Day?