Willpower For Dummies
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When you do summon up your willpower, you can make your dreams come true and your unwanted habits disappear. In both scenarios, having a clear goal is vital to success. A goal guides your thinking and behaviour and enables you to maintain your motivation and focus your willpower. For example, think about:

  • Sitting in a restaurant on a cold Tuesday in December, imagining what it would be like to swim in a sun-drenched pool the following summer, having shed unwanted pounds and slipped into a slinky bikini. Then you say: ‘No thanks, I’m skipping dessert today’.

  • Looking out at a sun-drenched pool (not necessarily the same one!) but instead switching on your laptop to prepare for three hours of study for an exam in six months’ time that promises to define your future.

  • Saying ‘no’ to a cigarette two weeks after you’ve quit, even though you can almost taste the tobacco. Your mind is once again on the future, which will be longer and healthier for you because of willpower overriding your impulse to smoke.

  • Doing without life’s luxuries because you are saving to ensure your baby will be able to go to college in 18 or so years’ time.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Frank Ryan is a clinical psychologist and cognitive therapist, specialising in cognition and impulse control. He is also the author of Cognitive Therapy For Addiction, published by Wiley.

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