Strength of will

How to find the determination to make healthy changes

You might want to lose weight, quit smoking or stop checking your email after 5 p.m., but forming better habits isn’t easy. In order to make meaningful change, you need willpower. Here are tips for strengthening it:

Sleep well: Insufficient rest makes us susceptible to temptation, because self-control takes brain power.

Meditate: Sit in silence for five minutes and focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, exercise your willpower and bring it back.

Stay sober: Drinking alcohol reduces self-awareness, which is critical for making positive decisions.

Visualize: Remind yourself why you’re trying to change, and visualize what you’ll lose if you give in.

Go easy on yourself: If you have a lapse, just move on. Judging yourself as lazy or a slob will only make you more impulsive.

Source: The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley