Here he comes. We all know that guy. Straight posture, always in time, always looking fresh and full of energy. He looks good, he’s efficient, funny and always in a good mood.

He occasionally turns up to the post work drinks at the pub but somehow he manages to keep the booze at the minimum and he has no problems in saying no to temptations.

In every office there is one of those high performance individuals

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We all admire him and envy him at the same time…how the hell does he do it?

Seems like he’s doing the same things as we do but he might be holding some magic secret inside his pockets to always be on top of the game.

Even though that might be the case, most likely he’s using a different kind of magic to keep his mood and willpower at its very peak. Curious? I’m just about to reveal you his secret.

The magic drug

Two Australian researchers, Megan Hodon (psychologist) and Ken Chang (biologist) recently concluded a shocking study on a magic solution to increase willpower and reduce stress.

They were expecting positive results but the findings highly exceeded their expectations. The study was conducted amongst office workers that claimed to be highly stressed and with bad eating habits.

improve your willpower_2They have been prescribed the treatment and after only one week they showed a drastic reduction in snacking, drinking and general stress levels.

But what is this magic treatment and where can I buy some?

The answer is much easier than what you expect: Exercise!

Yes the participants were given a free membership to a gym and were asked to exercise for a minimum of 15 minutes per week. No other indications were given.

After only one week their stress was reduced and they were making healthier food choices. After three weeks most participants increased the number of days at the gym to three without the researchers asking them to do so.

Megan and Ken studied the changes in the brain of the participants and the findings were even more shocking. After three weeks of regular exercise the participants didn’t only show a greater sense of wellbeing and self control, they also showed an increase in the mass of the prefrontal cortex in the brain.

Weight training didn’t only make their muscles bigger but also the brain! There’s so much to say about the stereotype of the muscley brainless guy, but today we know for sure that exercise will also make you smarter.

And guess what? Exercise is also as powerful as prozac to fight depression and anxiety… and will make you look sexier. What more can you ask for?

Prescription

At the question: “What should I do?”
I generally answer with: “What are you willing to do?”

Obviously if you hire me as a coach, I will make you lift heavy weights while checking your form, but when you are by yourself the first thing to do is finding something you will enjoy and possibly look forward to. improve your willpower_3Anything that doesn’t involve sitting or eating while you are doing it can be considered as exercise. A walk in the park, deep clean of the house, walking 10 times up and down the stairs. You name it!

Exercise

Get yourself a whiteboard or stick a big poster on the wall. Write down your commitment and make sure you take it slowly. You don’t want to burn out right?

Use something like a table to record your progress.

Put a cross for every bad food choice you make write down a reward you will give yourself at the end of the week if you have been compliant.

Keeping track of your compliance is such a powerful tool

We often do not realize when we make bad food choices or we skip important tasks. Having a tracker to remind us our commitment is a great tool to improve our life and accomplish more.

It is essential to reward yourself at the end of the week if you have been doing your homework. That can be a slice of cake, a pair of shoes, booking a short holiday and so on. You want it?

To improve willpower, you have got to earn it.

If you wonder what a breathing space is, you might want to check my previous article ‘Willpower and the Battery’. This is another quick tool that increases willpower instantly and will take less than three minutes per day. I highly suggest you check it out!

Connect with Expert Davide Alfonsi

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