WillPower 101

“Willpower is like a muscle: The more you train it. The stronger it gets.” – Anonymous

What Is Willpower?

Synonyms for willpower can be something like having determination, self-discipline, self-control, and effortful control.

Willpower is being able to resist short-term temptations in order to achieve your goals. It’s being able to obtain the long-term satisfaction over instant satisfaction.

 Being able to say no is just one part of what willpower consists of. But the other part of willpower is being able to say “yes” to the things that you know will help you move forward towards your goals and dreams. It’s being able to focus on the things that need to get done, even when you don’t want to push yourself further. You just do it!

Some other synonyms for willpower are:


Self-control a form of willpower. You take control of your life. If you’re starting to change your lifestyle around and eat healthier, you’re using self-control to try to not eat junk food around the house.


Drive is a passionate type of motivation that will help you get closer to your goals, even if it’s very tricky or hard. The difference between drive and willpower is that you have little control over your drive. You have to make a firm decision before you can use your willpower effectively.


Willpower focuses on the strength of mind, whereas self- discipline is more about the practice of willpower in your daily life. Self-discipline is more be about behaviour rather than the decision. If you workout 5 times a week without cancelling, you’re self-disciplined. It’s both the decision to workout daily and the action of working out every day that takes willpower.


Similar to self-control. Self-restraint is like holding yourself back from doing something you have a desire to do. It takes strong willpower to hold yourself back when you’re faced with something that’s very appealing to you.

Power Of Mind

Having a strong mind will lead you to ultimately have great willpower! You have to use your strength of mind to accomplish your goals. To follow through with your goals and dreams you have to have the mindset to achieve it all.

How To Strengthen Your Willpower?

You can 100% strengthen your willpower. It takes time, consistency, patience, and determination. I can say my willpower is amazing and my husband mentions it all the time. Or family and friends will be like “you don’t want this snack? Or “no drinking?” I did work hard on it though.

For years I was a medical receptionist. Back in 2013, I would have medical reps come in and bring us donuts, timbits, iced coffee etc, from Tim Hortons (A coffee shop in Canada). Let’s be honest, it’s not the best… I did eat it and enjoy it every time. Now, I don’t eat junk food unless I’m really craving it. No, I’m not “missing out” on things. I LOVE donuts, Crème Brûlée, or even Chips Ahoy cookies, OH and ice cream, but my BIGGEST TIP when it comes to having willpower with “junk food” is, I ask myself these questions before I eat something off plan.

“Is this treat going to be the best thing ever”?

“Is this treat going to satisfy me?”

“Am I just eating this because I’m bored or because it’s right there”?

I love my treats just like anyone else, but for me, my treats need to be delicious and the best thing ever. I usually have to go out and get it. I take my treats very seriously and they have to be the best snack ever, like gourmet donuts etc. I also don’t have a lot of “treat” options in the house. By doing and not having junk food around, I have to really decide if I actually want something or if it’s just a little craving. You know you’re really craving something when you have to change out of comifies and go out to get something.

So how can you strengthen your willpower?

Avoid The Temptation

If your goal is to refrain from doing something you’ve decided not to do, one of the best things you can do is just to not expose yourself to the temptation. If your goal is to cut out drinking, well maybe you shouldn’t be at a bar or around people who drink heavy. Maybe spend your time with a friend watching a movie, or going to an Arcade and shoot some pool!

Start Small

As much as I LOVE certain cookies, I always just end up eating the serving size, which for cookies it’s usually always 2! Yes, that’s right I only have 2 cookies, not because I’m not enjoying them, but 2 cookies cuts my sweet tooth and chugging the milk afterwards satisfies me! So, if you’re a person who can have like 6 Oreo cookies, try to challenge yourself and only eat 2 cookies or the serving size. If the serving size is more than 3, try to still eat less than that.

The main goal here is to show you that you actually don’t need a lot of “cookies” or what have you to feel “satisfied”. You will be surprised on how just 2 cookies or even 1 cuts your sweet tooth completely.

Control Your Mind and Challenge Yourself To Say No

It’s Challenge time!!

There’s nothing wrong with having a “treat meal or snack” once a week, but when you have it 7 days in row there’s a problem. Challenge yourself for a week to say no. A couple summers ago I went to my coach’s BBQ and she had my favourite donuts from a place called “The Rolling Pin” here in Toronto. They were mini donuts too, which you would think are better for you than the normal sized ones. However I didn’t eat any because I didn’t see my favourite flavour. All the donuts there are good, but I thought these ones might not be my favourite so why bother? It’s all about training your brain and having the right mindset!

Think About Your Long-Term Goals

Not everything needs to be about food. Maybe you’re working more hours to save more, so you can buy a house. You dread those hours, but you need to think about the goals you have in mind.

Write down your goals, talk to your partner about them, or think about them when you’re driving or walking alone. Thinking about your goals and dreams constantly boosts my brain to keep working hard!

If you feel like you need more motivational quotes to keep you going, check out “How To Keep Yourself Motivated”.

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