How to Develop Willpower during Rehab

How to Develop Willpower during Rehab

Willpower is arguably one of the most important mental strengths necessary for a successful rehabilitation.

Luckily, willpower works as a muscle that you can develop over time with dedicated practice.

With these 5 tips, you’ll develop a larger capacity to stick to your rehabilitation goals and finally get to where you want to be.

1. Meditate

Meditation has many benefits, and building willpower is one of them.

By meditating for just a few minutes each day, you can develop the parts of your brain that regulate emotions and decision making. Yes, really!

According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal who teaches a class called the Science of Willpower at Stanford University, “meditating even for just a few minutes each day can actually boost willpower by building up gray matter areas of the brain that regulate emotions and decision making.”

Incredible! We can actually build a better brain through meditation.

2. Set Goals

During rehabilitation (and in life) goals can help give you a sense of direction. When your actions are linked to a bigger picture, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Try creating S.M.A.R.T. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Write them down and tape them to your bedroom wall so that you’re constantly reminded of the direction that you want to go.

3. Eliminate Extra Effort

Willpower is a limited resource (check out the famous Radish and Cookie study that epitomizes the concept of willpower as a limited resource) so we need to use it on the important stuff!

Eliminate anything unproductive and unnecessary that tugs at your willpower throughout the day. Does the junk food in the kitchen call your name? Are you trying to cut back on television but somehow always end up with the remote in your hand?

If you’re exerting your willpower to resist trivial things, you’re wasting your will. So toss out the junk food and get rid of distractions. Then, you’ll have more willpower to dedicate to your rehabilitation efforts.

4. Make It a Habit

Rehab exercises can be tedious sometimes, but it has to be done. And let’s be honest, the mentality of getting your exercises done ‘when you have time’ never leads to regularity.

So pick a time that you’ll dedicate to your rehab exercises every day and stick with it.

Soon, you’ll develop a habit of exercising at that specific time – you won’t even have to think about it.

5. Use the 5 Minute Rule

Getting started is always the hardest part, so try making this deal with yourself: You only have to do it for 5 minutes. That’s all.

But once you get the momentum going, we bet that you won’t want to stop. And even if you do stop short, getting something in is better than nothing at all.

Now that you have the tools to develop your willpower, start taking action!

What do you hope to achieve this year? Share your goals with us in the comments below!