Strengthen us with Your Power

10 Stories to Strengthen Your Staying Power

Strengthen us with Your Power

It’s a fact, success eludes most people.  And chances are high it’s even eluded you once or twice too.

Tragically, success is especially elusive for people always in search of a silver bullet.   It evades, dodges, and ducks away from any person who thinks success is something that “happens to them”.

Sadly, its those most eager seekers who are always on the hunt for the newest tricks, fads, formulas, and shortcuts, that rarely find what they’re after.

The goddess of success is smarter than we think…and she can’t be fooled.

Truth is, it’s only the truly committed who will ever discover true success.  These “lucky few” eventually reach their aim because they discover the qualities that must be possessed before they can win the game. Qualities such as high effort, courage, and self-discipline.

But most importantly, they’ll discover success because they learn how to master the most difficult success quality of them all.

So what is this one thing that causes success to escape most people’s grasp?

Believe it or not, it is staying power.

Staying power; otherwise known as determined persistence and never giving in, is what seals the fate of most people’s pursuits in the end.

There’s No Magic Pill

Now, if there were a magic pill I could give you to help you become a human battering ram, the type of battering ram that hammers away on the doors of success until it gets through, I’d give it to you.  But, no such pill exists.

But what I can give you is this; a stronger belief that you will succeed, if you will but persist.

And that’s what I have for you today my friend.  10 short motivational stories to help you strengthen your staying power. 10 stories to help you win.

So, if you want to give those doors of success a real scare, read these 10 strive stories with the utmost care.

1. Paulo Coelho:

When ‘The Alchemist’ was first published some 30 some years ago, no one noticed. A bookseller in the northeast corner of the country told the author, Paulo Coelho, that only one person purchased a copy during that first week when it was released.

  Un-phased by the silent reception, Paulo Coelho confidently waited for those next few sales to come in.

  And he would wait a long time too, as it took six more months before his second copy was sold—and it was sold to the exact same person who bought the first!

By the end of that first year, Paulo Coelho’s publisher lost hope in his book and so decided to cancel his contract and cut him loose.

But, Paulo Coelho didn’t let that demoralizing rejection paralyze him.  Instead of quitting many would at this point, he decided to be steadfast, and continued to pursue his vision.  So, he looked for another publisher.  He looked, and looked, and looked until he finally found one.  And with it, he found his second chance.

Once his book was published again, it slowly started to sell by word of mouth.  His persistence started to pay off, as he eventually sold three thousand books, then six, then ten.  Month over month year over year his book sales started to grow.  And now… ‘The Alchemist’ has sold over 150 million copies across the world.

It’s a good thing Paulo Coelho had staying power.  Had he quit, he wouldn’t be who he is today, a literary legend.

2. Michael Jordan:

Most people don’t know this, but when Michael Jordan was a sophomore in high school, he was eager to prove himself as a great basketball player.  As such, he tried out for the Varsity squad.    But guess what?  Things didn’t go as planned.  Jordan got cut from the team.

Considering he had such big dreams as a star basketball player, that rejection hit him really hard.  In fact, it hit him so hard that he went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.

Now Jordan cried, cried, and cried, but he didn’t quit.  He picked himself up and decided to at least crush it on the JV squad.  And crush it he did.  He also decided to train his ass off in the off season.  He even grew four inches.  And then that next year, Michael Jordan did what all winners do….he tried again.

This time, however, he made the team, and quickly became the school’s best player.  By the time he was a senior, he made the McDonalds’ All-American team.  Then he went off to play in college…and the rest is history.

Michael Jordan didn’t quit.  Instead he transformed his failure into fuel for future success.  He then used that fuel to become “The Michael Jordan”.  The man who would score 32,292 points in his basketball career, acquire 6 NBA championships, collect 5 MVP titles, and come to be known to many, as the GOAT (Greatest of all time).

Clearly, no, doesn’t mean never.

3. Steven Pressfield:

Steven Pressfield is a professional hero of mine, and I am sure he is to countless other authors as well.  Here’s why….

It took Steven Pressfield 17 years before he made his first dollar as a writer.  He wrote for 27 years before he got his first novel published (The Legend of Bagger Vance).

During that time, Steven worked at 21 different jobs in eleven states.  He taught school, drove tractor-trailers, worked in advertising and as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he worked on offshore oil rigs, and even picked fruit as a migrant worker, but he never gave up.  Sure, he had to go back and work for “the man” from time to time, but he kept his eye on the prize; his dream.

This is why his pursuit of his passion is the epitome of staying power.

Now, Steven is the author of over 16 books and is a source of inspiration for authors and creative people around the world.

Art is war, and so is finding success in general.  So, if your dreams are slow to come don’t lose heart, just remember Steven Pressfield, and be willing to fight long and hard for your art.

4. Lionel Messi:

If you keep up with soccer, then you’ve heard of Lionel Messi.  At age of 11, Messi was cut from his soccer team because he was too small.  He was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which made him much smaller than most kids his age.

However, Messi didn’t let this stop him.  Instead, week after week after week, every day, before going to sleep, he would inject growth hormones into himself.  Messi would do this for seven days in one leg, then seven days in the other, for six long years.

Fortunately, Messi’s foresight and persistence paid off.  Now, he is one of the highest paid soccer players, having a net worth of over 400 million, is considered one of the best soccer players of all time, and has won soccer’s greatest achievement, ‘The Ballon d’Or’ five times.

Even when it seems nature is against you at first, she bends to those with a strong will and staying power.

5. Steven Spielberg:

Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC film school three times. But that didn’t stop him, instead, he just tried a different school.  He applied to Cal State, Long Beach, and got into their film program.

  And while still a student a Cal State, he landed an unpaid internship at Universal Studios.  It was a fortuitous gig that soon led his dropping out.

  It was a calculated move that would allow him to rub elbows with movie makers at Universal Studios to shortening his path to fulfilling his dream.

Unfortunately, his internship didn’t last long enough for him to break into the movie business he had planned.  But, undeterred, Steven would still sneak in to the studios, pretending to work there so he could learn more about movies until he could catch his break.

Legend has it, that he had an 8 mm film that he knew the studio executives would love, if only they would watch it.  He found a way to get it into their hands, but they flip flopped on him, and then said they would only watch it if he shot it on a 16-mm film.

  So, Steven went out and rented a 16-mm camera and reshot the whole movie.  When he brought it back to the executives, they told him not to come back until it was on a 35-mm film.  Undeterred, he jumped through their hoops and reshot the movie on the 35-mm film.

Finally, the executives decided to relent and gave his movie a look.  And the rest is history.  The movie went on to win a prize at the Atlanta film festival and helped Steven lock in a 7-year contract directing movies with Universal.

No doubt, If you keep looking for your break, the day will come when you find it.

6. Walt Disney:

Everyone knows who this legend is.  But, did you know before Walt Disney was “The Walt Disney”, he had once been fired because his boss thought he lacked imagination and had no good ideas?

I know, it’s crazy to think that he would ever be considered the opposite of what he ended up being so great at.

Fortunately, Walt Disney didn’t listen to his critics, and pressed on to create his own cartoon animation company.  Now, just because he pressed on doesn’t mean he hit it big right away.  He would go on to experience a few additional failures along the way (along with few small successes), but ultimately, he kept on pressing forward, innovating, and improving on his love for animation.

And, well…he eventually smashed through those doors of success and went on to become the creator of the household name that we’ve all come to know and love.

Truly, every success, at some time or another, has had to learn how to believe in themselves when no one else on this big blue planet is willing to hold the same belief.  And the chances are high you’ll have to do the same.

So, when someone tries to halt your vision, just remember good ole Walt Disney.  Ignore your critics, believe in yourself, and get yourself back into the game.

7. Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen:

The authors of the now famous ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series of books faced massive obstacles when first starting out.  Some publishers said their books would never sell.  Others said that their title was stupid, and that nobody bought collections of short stories.

Undeterred, this dynamic duo went on to reach out to publisher after publisher.  They suffered through 123 rejections before things started to look up for them.

Fortunately, they didn’t take no for an answer, because they eventually found stratospheric success with their books, and as a result have sold over 500 million books across the world.

If it wasn’t for their staying power and dogged perseverance, they never would have become the founders of one of the most successful publishing franchises in the world today.

8. Stephen King:

Before he was the king of horror, Stephen King was essentially a starving artist. Money was so scarce in his early writing days, that he and his wife had to live in a trailer, couldn’t afford a telephone, had to borrow clothes for their wedding, and worked multiple jobs to support their family and keep the lights on.

But, the pull of his dream to write was greater that his economic plight.

On top of the financial challenges Stephen King faced, he, most authors, experienced lots of rejection.  In fact, he received 60 rejections before selling his first story, “The Glass Floor” for a measly $35.

  But, he kept on writing, striving, and struggling, until he eventually sold his next story.  And fortunately, his next story would set him up to write full-time, forever.

  What was the name of that book?  “Carrie”.

Having published over 200 short stories, 58 novels, and selling over 350 million copies, Stephen King is not just the king of horror, he’s also the king of staying power.

9. Robert Kiyosaki:

The man behind the extremely successful ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ brand, Robert Kiyosaki is a prime example of persistence in action.

His first business sold those cool looking velcro wallet’s that were all the rage in the 80’s.  Unfortunately, he didn’t protect his product with patents and eventually went bankrupt after competitors snatched up most of his market share.

But he persisted, and soon after went on to start another company that sold licensed apparel for heavy metal bands, unfortunately, that company would eventually flounder as well.

He kept pressing forward though, seeking his one-way ticket the rat race.    While working for the Xerox company to pay the bills, he kept striving to build a business.  Eventually, he found success when his first financial education company took off.  Soon after, he then sold that company and leveraged his new-found wealth to become the wealth guru and best-selling author he is today.

Robert Kiyosaki didn’t know the how, because hardly any of us do.  But, he knew the where.  He knew where he wanted to go, and kept moving forward, failure after failure until he got there.

10. Howard Shultz:

Thanks to the persistence and tenacity of Howard, today we can enjoy a delicious Starbucks coffee as we work at our computers in just about every city in the United States of America.

Most people don’t know this, but when Howard Shultz was just starting out, he was finding it very difficult to convince investors to write him a check.   It would take more than 214 rejections before he found someone who believed in his idea enough to help him fund it.

Now that’s staying power.  But that’s not all.  In it’s infancy, his company also incurred losses for three straight years.  And on one of those early years, 1989 to be exact, he incurred more than $1 million in losses alone.

Howard Shultz was a beast!  Thank goodness too, else I wouldn’t be able enjoy this pumpkin spice macchiato, as I finish up this piece.

Final Thoughts

No does not mean never, and the struggle won’t last forever, but if you lack staying power, success will inevitably evade you altogether.

The road to success is filled with no’s, rejections, mishaps and failures along the way.  But, despite all the obstacles, you must decide to keep going, every single day.

So, if you’ve learned anything from this post, I hope it is this:  That there are only two rules when it comes to success.  Rule number one, never give up.  Rule number two, never forget rule number one.

Till next time,


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A Symphony of Strength: Discover Your Power to Come Back Stronger

Strengthen us with Your Power

Inner strength is a powerful and intelligent force of calmness, emotional composure, and focus. It is not a harsh or abrasive energy that hits out at life’s cuts and curveballs, but runs gently a river of resilience through our veins.

Our inner strength is sculpted from the ashes of every struggle and painful arrow to our hearts.

We augment our inner strength by trusting in everything that we have stored within: a karmic bind to the strength of our soul which rises ever beautiful from the flames of failure and the darkness of despair.

Inner strength says, I do not fear the fall, for I know I shall rise, I do not deny the failure, for I know I can overcome, I do not pray for an easy tide of life, for I know I have been built to rise above each tumultuous wave. Inner strength speaks an eloquence that burns through the fire with a deeper vision that sees far beyond the flames.

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

– Albert Camus

We are all uniquely carved with every inner tool and measure of fortitude we will need to accelerate past challenges and become stronger. We all have our own internal symphony of strength — a great rhapsody of hope and endurance.

The mountains before us are meant to be climbed, and our winters of woe inspire the wellsprings of renewal that allow us to surmount the arduous hills.

What resides within is our inner power to advance with resolve, embracing our strength of patience and adaptability to charge a way forward when all may seem lost.

Inner strength writes the story of our strategy, with pages of courage that outweigh the force, depth or gravity of anything extrinsic.

When we dig deep to the threshold of our inner strength we begin to unravel the might of our mental, emotional, and spiritual dynamism, valor and nerve.

Our hero within says that no matter what goes on around us, what we have inside is far more rugged, cognizant and impermeable. A hero knows how to hold on a little while longer to come back that much stronger.

Acceptance and accountability

Acceptance looks a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.

– Eckhart Tolle

Acceptance of any situation places the power to change it in our own hands. When we act, we do so from a place of acceptance and accountability, with a door opened wide to engage in new perspectives and purpose. The humility to accept rests on the bed of our deeper intelligence.

It takes great bravery and grit to embrace and yield to a tough circumstance in order to shape a way through it. Acceptance surveys and quantifies a situation with emotional insight and mental clarity.

It releases us from the grip of an external hold, to bring us back in touch with our inner sensitivity and strength.

Through acceptance we can seek the conscious calm away from the storm. We arm ourselves with the potential to stretch out our thoughts and feelings and to be supremely guided by the power and persuasion of our intuition and higher thinking. Understanding our propensity to adapt initiates us to make good and gain from impactful trials and challenges.

When we wrestle with life’s hits, greater obstacles are erected on our path and we make poor decisions as we fight from fear rather than from faith. Yet when we accept our struggles, we claim back our innate capacity to surpass them.

In doing so, we navigate to a place of humility; we expand our heart-space as we implicitly trust our infinite resources to see us through.

A symphony of strength

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser- focus.

– Bruce Lee

Obstacles and challenges allow us to feed into our visceral strength. We often get stuck in the rigidity of circumstance and lose sight of our lionhearted poise and the sound of our inner voice. Yet when we move away from our perceived limits and fears, we can transcend them.

Nothing is ever fixed or set in stone; failures and dark times are garnered by the same tokens of nature’s impermanence. Just as we transition from the cold nights of winter to welcome in the warmer hues of spring, we are gifted to trace a new trajectory to evolve through tough times.


We can remember that a self-assured warrior sits within us all — we hear the wise echoes that resound in the vitality of our strong and stubborn hearts.

When we focus on that energy that we have forged within, we materialize a higher vision of hope and steady self-belief. We can use every circumstance to inspire an inner engine of perseverance and passion.

We should not allow the voice of fear to breed mistrust — trust compels our hearts to kindle so we become our own worthy heroes.

Coming back stronger

If you’re an underdog, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.

– Steve Guttenberg

Stories of underdogs that win against all odds nourish our hearts with hope.

These are the people that no one believed in; the ones who were betrayed and bruised yet never gave in to naysayers or dark intentions.

Underdogs teach us that the comeback is far greater than the setback, and that what hits us can also bless us with an electric artillery of muscle and stamina that allows us to go the distance.

The push of anything external cannot contend with the weight of what lives within. The shape of the underdog, the dark horse, or the total long-shot is conjured by their own design of persistence and endurance.

a pane of unbreakable glass they withstand life’s biggest knocks, utilizing every bet against them as a chance to reinforce their steel- will.

We can learn so much from the beauty of the underdog, but most of all we can learn to trust ourselves to come back stronger — no matter what.

Believe in your symphony of strength

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

– Christopher Reeve

Life is never meant to break us. For much of the time we only scratch the surface of our inner resources. There is so much more to delve into. We can indulge in rather than deny our challenges, knowing that we always have the amplitude to gather our greatness through them. The symphony of our strength is as loud as a lion’s roar, yet as subtle as the purr of a pussycat.

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3 Ways to Become a More Powerful Swimmer

Strengthen us with Your Power

Power. The very word conjures up an overwhelming sense of speed, of inevitability, of conquering the competition and the pool. Here is how to become a more powerful swimmer in the water.

When we watch the top swimmers in our sport we see an almost effortless technique.

But we also see a chlorinated ton of torque and power, from their kicking motion off the walls, the distance they explode off the blocks, the white torrent closing speed they finish their races with.

While they exude a measure of technical proficiency, make no mistake, the swimmers we seek to emulate have a massive deal of power in the water.

There are a ton of training aids out there that are designed to help you specifically with becoming a more powerful swimmer.

From hand paddles, to stretch chords, to drag suits, to swimmer’s fins, and so on and so forth, there is no shortage of different forms of swimming equipment to play with that is designed to help you level up your brute strength in the pool.

Below I outlined three ways that you can achieve your goal of becoming a more powerful swimmer.

This little list is by no means comprehensive, and I limited it to the pieces of swimming gear that a swimmer can use completely on their own as well as within a team or group setting (not all solo swimmers are going to have access to a Power Tower, for instance).

Why Swimmers Should Train for Power in the Water

There are two main reasons that I adding resistance in these specific ways:

First, the weak spots in your stroke will become apparently pretty quickly. What happens when we add load to our swimming is that it magnifies what we are doing in the water.

Left hand not catching as much in the water? You’ll quickly notice the hiccup in the elasticity of the stretch chord. Not swimming with a balanced stroke? Same thing.

Your breaststroke kick not contributing propulsion? You’ll notice in a hurry.

And secondly, you can maintain proper range of motion and technique. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, especially when technique starts to falter.

In a recent article I wrote on the benefits of training with a drag suit researchers found that training with them for extended bouts of time changed technique and reduced distance per stroke, which is not what we are going for.

We want perfect technique, first, and then to load it up to the point of failure.

3 Ways to Improve Your Power in the Water

Here are three different ways that you can incorporate resistance training in your next practice, and how to make the most of your time spent developing brute strength swimming power:

1. Swimming with a band

For straight, sheer upper body strength this cannot be beat.

While most swimmers lean on their pull buoy to build upper body endurance and strength, it does come with it’s share of drawbacks.

While it can help build general upper body endurance (without your legs sucking up precious oxygen you can also pull longer than you would be able to swim), it’s not great for power.

After all, you can only really get your tempo up so high. On the other hand, the band around your ankles forces you to come to grips with developing a stronger, more powerful pulling motion.

The moment you strap on a band around your ankles your stroke rate has to go up—otherwise you are gonna stink, err, sink, buckaroo.

Swimming with a band will also have your stroke become more balanced, your high elbow catch improves, and your stroke tempo increases.

All three things are absolutely essential for developing a faster freestyle, especially you sprinters.

Training tips:

  • If you’ve never used an ankle band before, start off using a pull buoy and graduate to dropping the pull buoy.
  • Do short distances with lots of rest to start out with. If you aren’t doing it with proper technique stop and rest.
  • If you are currently on the DL with a brutal case of swimmer’s shoulder, do not try swimming with just a band around your ankle until you heal up and/or fix the technical issues that led to injury in the first place. Swimming with a band around your ankles is brutal on your shoulders.

2. Swimming or kicking with DragSox

I kick. A lot. I often spend half of my workouts on my kickboard.

There are lots of reasons why I doing heaps and heaps of kick sets, not the least of which is that I hate having my stroke fall apart towards the end of my races (as short as they may be), and to be honest, having a fast dolphin or freestyle kick is simply kind of awesome.

While I love using my swim fins to the point that I get gnarly blisters on my feet, I prefer using DragSox in order to build up the power in my legs.

They are my favorite for building crushing leg power. I have talked about why both in a post I did covering gifts for competitive swimmers, as well as in this essential swimming gear guide.

I’ll save you a click by reiterating why here again.

  • They give you full range of motion. Power comes from loading the movement you want to improve. With a proper pair of DragSox (they come with various degrees of difficulty) the range of motion and even the tempo should match up to your regular swimming. It’ll be harder, but that is the point!
  • Improves feel for the water. The moment you take off the DragSox and perform a high intensity swim you will feel as though you were fired a cannon. I guess it’s something to do with an improved feel for the water, but it’s a feeling that you will want to experience for yourself.
  • Endlessly versatile. I lean on my DragSox for vertical kick work, particularly when the local lap swim is too crowded. Or I will combo them with fins to really get the lactate churning in my legs. I will do sprint swim and sprint kick work with them on. Options are endless!

3. Resistance tubing

In this case we aren’t talking about the type of stretch chords that you lasso around the flag pole, slip your hands into, bend over at the waist, and then wail away on. (Even though these do have their purpose.)

Nope, I am talking about the much funner kind—the type which you knot up one end to the starting block, and then buckle the other around your waist and swim out against it.

Research that we detailed in another post that talked about whether resistance training improved 50m sprinting performance. In that particular study, elite swimmers trained with resistance tubing twice a week, for 12-weeks.

The athletes swam against the chord, which was tied up to a starting block, and also getting speed-assist training by being pulled back by the tubing.

At the end of the 12-weeks the swimmers improved speed over a 50m versus the poor control group swimmers, who performed the regular workouts without the tube work.

There is one thing you will really notice when swimming against a stretch chord, and it’s something that is very hard to replicate otherwise…

The moment the chord goes taut and progress slows to a snail’s pace your body will naturally adjust into the most efficient position possible.  As it turns out, your body is smart—it will seek the most efficient means to get through the water when faced with maximum resistance.

Training with the tubing for short bursts followed by high rest ends up serving a powerhouse double-whammy; you get high value power work in while ingraining efficient body position into your swimming.

Final Note: Contrast Your Power Work with Speed for Max Effect

The research mentioned earlier in the stretch chord section found that resistance training works best when you alternate it with speed boost sets.

In other words, don’t just pound out rep after rep of loaded sprinting—add some full swim sprinting, or swimming with fins, or with the resistance tubing—to get even more from your resistance training.

The speed-boost work will teach your body how to swim fastest with less effort more efficiently, which, when we think about it, is precisely the point of all of this!

More Stuff This:

36 Ultimate Swimming Workouts for Competitive Swimmers. Need some inspiration for your next workout? We got all you can handle and more with workouts from Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and much, much more.

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10 Simple Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Willpower!

Strengthen us with Your Power

When testing if willpower could be strengthened, researchers asked a group of participants to work on their posture for a 2-week period. Every time they caught themselves slouching, they were to correct themselves by sitting up straight. This simple practice vastly improved their perseverance on various willpower tests this one. [2]

To get started, simply correct your posture every time you catch yourself slouching at work or at home. It sounds extremely simple, but it takes willpower to sit up straight. Every time you do, you’re essentially doing “one rep” with your willpower muscle.

3. Keep a Food Diary

The same study also found that those who kept a food diary improved their willpower. Most of us don’t log all of the food we eat, so it takes willpower to keep track of it all. Any similar logging of information will also work, but I recommend a food diary because of all of its benefits listed here. [2]

To get started, I recommend downloading the MyFitnessPal App. It’s a simple food diary app that has a huge database of foods and nutrition information. Just keep the diary for 2 weeks, and it will increase your ability to resist temptations!

4. Use Your Opposite Hand

Using the same methodology as with posture, researchers conducted further studies that tested other corrective actions. One that worked particularly well was to use your opposite hand. Your brain is wired to use your dominant hand, so it takes willpower to use the opposite. [3]

To get started, select a chunk of the day to use your opposite hand. It doesn’t need to be any more than an hour in order to get results. And from personal experience, if you aim for more than an hour, you will unnecessarily tire out your willpower muscle.

5. Correct Your Speech

Another test that the researchers conducted was to change subjects’ natural speech. This includes resisting the urge to use swear words, or to say “hello” instead of “hey”. Again, it takes willpower to consciously go against your instincts. It doesn’t matter how you correct your speech, as long as you change your natural speech habits. [3]

To get started, select a chunk of the day to practice and choose the words you will change. Personally, I tried not using contractions (using “do not” instead of “don’t”, etc.) during work hours and it worked very well. all exercises listed above, doing this for just 2 weeks can vastly improve your willpower!

6. Create and Meet Self-imposed Deadlines

Anyone who remembers their college days, remembers what it was cramming for a test or doing a last minute paper. Your willpower gets taxed as you try to tune out distractions and become hyper-productive. Using this same principle, researchers found that by creating self-imposed deadlines you can work your willpower in the same way.

To get started, simply pick a task on your to-do list that you may have been putting off. Set a deadline for accomplishing it, and make sure you adhere to it. The participants who followed this process for 2 weeks not only got their old to-dos done, but also improved their diets, exercised more, and cut back on cigarettes and alcohol. [3] 

7. Keep Track of Your Spending

In the same way most of us don’t track the food that we eat, many of us don’t track our spending either. Even if you don’t cut back on spending – which would also be a willpower workout – researchers found that simply keeping track of where your money went will improve your willpower. [4] 

To get stated, check out this budgeting 101 guide which will help you get on top of your finances. You can also try using a budgeting app Mint. Mint can connect to your bank account, credit cards, etc. and automatically track your purchases. By simply reviewing this on a regular basis, you will see increases in your focus and ability to resist unrelated temptations sweets.

8. Squeeze a Handgrip

For the truly determined who want to increase their perseverance, you can squeeze a handgrip until exhaustion. If you’ve ever squeezed one before, you know that it gives you a deep forearm burn. So it takes willpower to keep squeezing. [5]

To get started, simply get a handgrip this one, and squeeze it with each hand until you’re exhausted. Willing yourself to continue squeezing even when it hurts will increase your perseverance on other challenging tasks.

9. Carry Around Something Tempting

Again, for the truly determined out there, you can increase your ability to say “no” by carrying around something tempting with you all day.

Researchers tried this with participants by teaching them how to resist cravings, then giving them a Hershey’s Kiss to carry around with them.

Those who resisted the Kiss were much more capable of resisting other temptations in their lives as well! [6]

To get started, first learn how to resist a craving. This will be hard, so your will want to know how to deal with the craving. Then carry something small but tempting with you. It doesn’t need to be for an entire day, but for long enough that you will be truly tempted. By consistently saying “no”, you will increase your ability to resist other temptations and ignore distractions!

10. Be More Mindful of Your Automatic Decisions

A final exercise is to simply be more mindful of your decisions throughout the day. We are often so lost in thought, that our actions become automatic. Taking time to think about why you are making your daily decisions will increase your ability to focus and resist temptations. [3]

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