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7 Steps to Create High Willpower

thThis is the time of year to dig deep and muster some willpower, right?

What if you did more, however, than muster what you’ve got?

This article contains systematic steps to increase your willpower far beyond what you’d expect under typical circumstances. Just read and follow the steps.

If you come to believe this will help you, you can also register free of charge to be guided through the following steps over a period of five days with the iNLP Center 5-Day Willpower Boot Camp.

Here are the steps!

7 Steps to Create High Willpower

1. Focus on Concrete Behaviors.

For the purpose of increasing willpower, we want to focus on simple, practical behavioral choices.

Do so by creating statement that represents your willpower, such as:

Today, I will _______________________.

(read for 20 minutes, exercise for 30 minutes, eat a large salad, balance my checkbook, etc…)

If you want to STOP a behavior, then use the following formula:

Today, instead of ____________________, I will _______________________.

For example, if you want to stop eating high carbohydrate crackers:

Today, instead of eating crackers, I will eat a piece of fruit.

If you want to stop yelling at your kids:

Today, instead of yelling at my kids, I will simply explain the consequences of their actions.

If you want to stop watching too much TV:

Today, instead of turning on the TV when I get home, I will take a walk around the block.

Etc…you get the idea.

2. Make it Simple and Easy!

The key to success is to start small. Don’t even entertain big ideas. In NLP, we call this chunking down. Chunking down is simply taking an idea and breaking it down into smaller, manageable chunks.

The behaviors you want to do should be very easy to accomplish. Don’t state that you are going to exercise for two hours, for example, if you currently don’t exercise at all. It would better to state that you are going to exercise for ten minutes!

The goal here is to make sure you can accomplish this first step. So, make your behavior super-doable.

Then, one little success will build upon the next until you’ve got some serious momentum. Start small and expect to grow big!

3. Be Accountable.

Are you willing to be held accountable for doing the right thing? If you don’t hold yourself accountable very well, then you want someone to help out.

Enlisting an additional person to help hold you accountable also encourages celebration of your small successes, which is critical to long-term achievement.

4. Keep Track of Your Successes.

If you don’t track your progress, you will fail to notice your successes and areas for improvement. Track it daily!

Use an old fashioned paper and pencil. Use an app. Use the notes program on your favorite device. And here’s an idea: Give yourself a point every time you do something that you intended to do. If you want to do two new behaviors consistently, then there are 10 points possible for an average work week. Go for all ten points.

At the iNLP Center, we call these “Will Points.”

5. Be on the Lookout for Self-Sabotage.

When you fail to do what you intend to do, there may be a perfectly valid reason. Most often, however, not doing your willed behavior is an act of self-sabotage.

When you DON’T do what you wanted to do, complete the following sentences:

I didn’t do ________________ today and that makes me feel _________________.

Self-sabotage is a twisted thing! When we sabotage ourselves, we are not only avoiding what would make us feel good. We are ALSO seeking something that makes us feel bad.

Identify how you felt after avoiding the positive behavior you wanted to do. Chances are, it’s an old and familiar feeling that you have not reconciled in your psyche.

6. With Success and Failure, Use a Bold Truth Affirmation.

Every time you succeed in doing what you intended to do, affirm it! Immediately after every success, take a deep breath, smile and say:

My willpower is increasing and this little success is the evidence.

When you don’t succeed, it may be that you chunked to large. Try scaling it down to a smaller action. Once you accomplish that action, go to the next, etc. Until you get to the one you originally did not succeed at.

However, if you simply chose not to accomplish the intended task, draw on the feeling you identified in step 5 and form a bold truth statement.

Today I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel _________________ instead (use the feeling you identified in step five.


• I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel worthless instead.

• I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel rebellious instead.

• I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel empty instead.

• I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel like a loser instead.

• I did NOT do my intended behavior because I chose to feel humiliated instead.

It may sound harsh. Yet, if it’s true, it’s true.

Now, here’s the good news…

By making a truth statement, you are simultaneously creating higher will power. The truth statement brings your feelings into conscious awareness and acknowledges they they are a choice.

You could have avoided feeling bad by doing your intended behavior. Since you did not act they way you intended to act, the next best thing is to acknowledge the choice.

Remember, building will power involves expanding conscious choice. Even when your choices are unhealthy, it is important to make them conscious! This is a significant step forward.

Often, such conscious acknowledgement helps you turn negative choices around quickly. Try it.

7. Keep Going!

This may be the most important step of all. Just keep plodding ahead. Don’t give up.

Giving up is like stating that you will never have willpower when in fact you CAN build it and enjoy higher willpower for the rest of your life. It’s more than worth the effort you are putting in now.

If you want to apply this system to build unstoppable willpower, then you have two options:

1. Just start applying it and track your results on your own.

2. Register for our free 5-day Will Power Boot Camp. The boot camp consists of the following:

  • An immediate welcome email that specifically prepares you to begin your program the following day.
  • One email per day for five days. These daily emails organize all of the material in this system into easy-to-track, actionable steps. You’ll participate by responding to each email and addressing the specific questions and action items. This keeps you on track, organized and accountable.
  • Additionally, we will keep track of your success with “Will Points.” We’ll explain Will Points in the free email program.

Start your 5-day Will Power Boot Camp now.

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7 Steps to Create High Willpower

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2014). 7 Steps to Create High Willpower. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Dec 2014
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