I just finished the book The 5 am club and most of the knowledge there wasn’t new to me, again, when you read lots of self help books, you start to see the similarities. But there was something that caught my attention in the end: willpower is learnable. Meaning, you can train yourself to be stronger, better at making decisions, learn to have more self control and follow through with what you tell yourself. Sounds great right? But how does one train for this? Most of us just like to say, I wish I had more self discipline, I’m just not a morning person, etc, all BS. You can learn and become anything you want. Next time you say you can’t, you really mean, you just don’t really want to.
Here is the catch, in order to become stronger you must do things that require strength. So the beginning will suck. And the tasks will be very hard. Examples in the book: take a very cold shower, go for a walk in a t-shirt in the winter, sleep on the floor once a week, fast for 3 days… crazy right? well, challenging oneself is not something many of us are accustomed to. We want to be the most comfortable as possible, not the other way around. And with being so comfortable, we start to become lazy, we start pushing the snooze button, procrastinating, eating one more, and before we know, we are trapped by our bad habits.
For most of us, committing to things I mentioned above will sound impossible. I can’t think of anything worse than being cold and sleeping on the floor, maybe I could fast for a day. So what could I do to start reinforcing my willpower? I’m very good at waking up early and not snoozing, it’s a habit I have built already, and every time I do it, the rest of the day becomes easier, I feel stronger, more focus and saying no to bad habits becomes more natural. But I can do a lot more. I could have a lot more discipline.
Every month this year I will set myself a challenge, something I find hard to do and that needs to be done everyday. Things like 15 pushups a day for 30 days, 2 min planks, 100 squats, no sugar, fast once a week, etc. This way I can incorporate difficult things to do that will also have a good direct and indirect impact in my life. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I will tell you what I’m doing for February tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.