Empowerment,  Lifestyle

Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behaviour

Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behaviour. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will share a piece on Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behaviour. Developing willpower and self-control can be a complex process, but it is essential for making lasting changes in our behaviour. To start, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause of our behaviour – what triggers us to behave a certain way?

Once we better understand our motivations, we can create strategies for making changes. For example, we can set achievable goals, create accountability structures, and use positive reinforcement to reward ourselves for making progress. It can also be helpful to develop mindful practices, such as meditation or journaling, which can help us stay focused and increase our self-awareness. We can develop the willpower and self-control needed to change our behaviour with patience and consistency.

Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behaviour


The spiritual leader and activist Mahatma Gandhi said, “Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will [power].” Yet, what exactly is willpower?

Willpower is your ability to turn down and curb inner conflicts, such as short-term temptations, to meet long-term goals.

Say you want to supersize your takeout order or smoke a cigarette. But, deep down, you know you shouldn’t.

Or it could just as quickly be the reverse. Maybe there’s something you know you should do but keep procrastinating to avoid doing it, like going to the gym or filing your taxes.

When you reach this crossroads, that’s when your willpower kicks in. This instantaneous reaction stems from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the front section of the brain responsible for regulating our behaviour and decision-making abilities.

So, the first thing you need to do to develop your willpower is to keep your prefrontal cortex in good shape by:

  • Getting quality sleep each night
  • Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Exercising 3–5 times a week
  • Managing stress

Can We Run Out of Willpower?

Interestingly enough, experts say that we have a finite stockpile of willpower. You start your day with only so much, and the more you use it, the faster you run out.

For example, try to control your temper on your way to work, at work, and then back home. You also use up your willpower when you ignore distractions, help your kids with homework, and negotiate a compromise with your partner.

Like our muscles, our willpower gets worn out from all that repetitive use.

Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behaviour

How to Develop Your Willpower

Check out these tips to increase your reserve of willpower:

  • Learn breathing techniques
  • Practice daily affirmations
  • Meditate each day
  • Focus on what’s essential now by postponing what you shouldn’t do for later.
  • Limit your intake of addictive substances, like alcohol and nicotine


Self-control is the “restraint exercised over one’s impulses, emotions, or desires” and works side-by-side with willpower. When practising self-control, you direct your willpower toward the desired outcome.

This means that sometimes you’ll have to not do something, like when you want to eat healthily and pass on the supersized meal. It also means that there will be times when you must put in a conscious effort to do something, like building good habits or getting started on those taxes.

Ego Depletion

And, as with willpower, it’s also finite. In other words, each time you use self-control, your power to make sound decisions gradually diminishes until you start the following morning again. This is what experts refer to as ‘ego depletion’, and it happens because you spend most of your waking hours trying your best to focus on making decisions and exerting your willpower.

So, it’s no surprise that by the end of the day, you feel depleted and exhausted and probably find it difficult to think coherently, let alone be able to make choices you won’t regret in the morning.

How to Develop Self-Control

Luckily, there are ways to improve your levels of self-control and reduce the impact of ego depletion. Many rely on the same techniques to boost your willpower, like getting good sleep and managing stress, while others are slightly different.

Take a look:

  • Learn how to regulate your emotions.
  • Practice self-compassion.
  • Become aware of your wants and needs to direct energy toward self-improvement.
  • Manage your time and energy more efficiently.
  • Create short and long-term goals to stay motivated.

The key to developing willpower and self-control to change behaviour is to make small, achievable goals and focus on them one at a time. By breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, staying motivated and on track can be more accessible. Practising mindful awareness and staying mindful of your emotions and reactions to difficult situations is essential.

Finally, it is essential to be kind to yourself and to practice self-care, as this can help to increase your ability to manage and control your behaviours. With patience and practice, you can develop the willpower and self-control to change your behaviour positively.

I hope you enjoyed that.

Talk soon.

Working with Strong women, I help empower women not to give up on their goals and find true happiness within themselves. #lifestyle #womenempowerment #selfcare


  • Shilpa Bindlish

    Self control is indeed an essential characteristic for stable behaviour. Though its not easy to develop but is desirable for one n all.

  • Gervin Khan

    This is such an amazing article to read and to know more about! Knowing this will definitely help anybody to change for a much better version of himself/herself!


    It’s really important for us all to work on developing good willpower and self-control. I find that my will power isn’t as strong when I’m feeling tired.

  • Patricia Chamberlain

    Having willpower and self-control is so important. I often struggle with having enough willpower to meet my own goals. I need to work on managing my time better.

  • Maureen

    These are great tips! It’s hard to do but it is really possible. A lot of it has to do with our perspective and mindset. Emotions also play a big role but once we get into a habit of having a filter and self-regulating, it is not impossible to develop a great willpower and self control!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  • LisaLisa

    What a great post! Whew self-control is sometimes the hardest thing to control but I was always taught that where there’s a will there’s a way and that helped me with willpower. I just need self-control when it comes to these snacks…LOL

  • Alice Mola

    What an awesome and empowering post. I have felt the power of manifestation and self affirmations, I started putting inspirational messages and daily affirmations on my mirror in my bathroom so that when I brush my teeth I can read them and internalize them when I wake up or before bed. Awesome post with a lot of good advice!

  • Stephanie

    I didn’t know willpower is based in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. I do most of the things you say for it, except I don’t always eat the healthiest. I have a hard time with self-control when it comes to my snacking habits which makes it hard to eat well to have that willpower. It’s also interesting to know we only have so much in a day but it makes a lot of sense!

  • Olga

    I like your tips. I always had problems with willpower and probably it is my personality. But I would to focus on self-control more. I want to have a productive 2023!

  • Whitney Stewart

    This is such good advice. Will power and he mindset to change your behavior are the core values someone needs to have to make those changes. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll definitely be trying these out myself before too long!

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