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How to Cultivate Willpower? 4 Simple Ways to stimulate your abilities to achieve your goals.

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How to Cultivate Willpower? 4 Simple Ways to stimulate your abilities to achieve your goals.

There are two aspects of your life. You are either happy or you are trying to be happy. When we are happy, we wonder less about the truths and psychologies and why stuff works the way it works. We let the flow keep. However, when things aren’t going too well, our energies deplete. It’s how long you can survive in the face of those depleting energies that define your success or failure.

And your ability to survive that state of mind is willpower.

But, before we can learn how to cultivate willpower, we should rightfully try to figure out what diminishes it in the first place. Primarily, consider your subconscious mind as a huge hard disk that stores large amounts of data, in fact it stores every moment of your life and organizes them to form beliefs and behavioral patterns.

It stores everything you experience and the emotion that’s attached to that source. Lack of willpower indicates prolonged programming of your subconscious using negative notifications.

“They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson is life who does not every day surmount a fear.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Procrastination at work, loss in relationships, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, being fired, divorce, non-cooperation in the family, misconceptions. Every trauma a person passes through decreases his power to control. He loses willpower with every experience that reminds him of his underachievement.

“In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.” – Aleister Crowley

Cultivating willpower is the most important thing you can do to achieve something worthy. It is the very foundation of your success and ability to strive for greatness. But, how do you do it?

Here are the 4 simplified steps to generate willpower.

1. Distract yourself

Most researchers of the 20th century claimed that willpower was flexible. The famous Marshmallow Experiment by Walter Mischel explains this just right. The researchers conducted a study with kids as to how the minds of children reacted to a greater reward if they were to abstain from having something, in this case, another marshmallow.

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Results? It was found that kids who had high willpower to keep themselves from giving in used simple distractions like singing, patting the table and keep themselves busy doing thing so that their minds could wait a little longer until the time expired and they received a another marshmallow as reward.

Your willpower diminishes with every thought of the instant gratification. If you are looking for a greater reward, keep yourself distracted from the immediate achievement.

 2. Use consequences to power your actions

There are two aspects to this. Many psychologists have an opinion that thinking about the negative outcomes might actually strengthen willpower and some others claim that positive outcomes actually help you push a little more.

Fortunately, both are valid. You just need to know when to use what. If you are in bad mood, low energy, and your goals look blurred, use the positive consequences to boost and motivate yourself.

On the other hand, when you’re in good mood, full of energy and yet lacking willpower, try convincing yourself using the negative method. This works because our minds tend to move from one energy point to another.

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3. Make the climb, without the rope

Remember that scene from The Dark Knight Rises when that doctor advises Bruce Wayne to climb the pit without the rope? That’s what you need to try to strengthen your willpower.

After graduation, I was very fearful about finding a new job. I would frequently get anxious and overwhelmed at the thought of it. I would keep searching classified but apply for none. I found that my willpower diminished every time I put off applying for an interview.

Fortunately, I learned to get out of my comfort zone and face the fear. It is, of course, not always that simple, but if you can convince yourself for a short span of time that there’s nothing else you can do but get the job done, your willpower will build quickly.

Willpower is the resource you plug into when most of the external circumstances needed to sooth you are missing.

 4. Keep reminding yourself about your willpower

What will you get if you show a little more courage right now? Your mind needs its share of motivation. What is it that makes this work worth doing? Remind yourself about the rewards and you’ll be much more positive when approaching your goals.

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There’s a willpower equation which says {Willpower = Motivation + Reward – Pain.}
So, if your pain is more than your level of your motivation + reward, you’ll find your willpower diminishing, it might even get to the point at which you would want to give up.

Kelly Mcgonigle, the author of “The Willpower Instinct,” suggests that simple actions like brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand or a simple good night’s sleep can help boost your willpower. These activities somehow send a reminder about your raw abilities to your subconscious, which helps stimulate your willpower.

Here’s what you can do. Write down a list of activities or chores you’ve been avoiding. Choose the easiest items on it and do them. It will instantly make you feel better. Remind yourself about your willpower using tiny achievements.

List one small achievement every day

The process of cultivating your willpower needs practice. Here’s what you can do about it. Every day, make it a routine to get done one of the many things you’ve been avoiding in the past. It could be as simple as organizing your closet. Gradually, build your willpower by using tiny achievement and then moving on to bigger ones.

Featured photo credit:  American Football with the Goal via Shutterstock

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More by this author

7 Simple Steps to Build a Successful Mindset How to Un-Clutter Your Mind and Stay Focused on Life Essentials How to Cultivate Willpower? 4 Simple Ways to stimulate your abilities to achieve your goals. How to Revamp your Life and Stop Procrastinating in Two Months

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Last Updated on September 9, 2021

10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

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10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

1. The One Thing Planner

The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

Get the planner here!

2. The Full Life Planner

The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

Get the planner here!

3. The Freedom Journal

Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

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From their site:

“The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

Get the planner here!

4. Full Focus Planner

Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

From the site:

“Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

Get the planner here!

5. Passion Planner

They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

From the site:

“An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

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Get the planner here!

6. Desire Map Planners

If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

Get the planner here!

7. Franklin Covey Planners

The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

From the site:

“Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

Get the planner here!

8. Productivity Planner

From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

From the site:

“Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

Get the planner here!

9. Self Journal

Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

Get the planner here!

10. Google Calendar

You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

Get the planner here!

Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

Block #1: Desire

Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

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A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

Block #2: Strategy

Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

“What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

Block #3: Focus

With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

Block #4: Rhythm

The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

The Bottom Line

Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

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As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

More Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

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