From Impulse To Intention: Cultivating Stronger Willpower

Trying to defeat out of control eating habits, overwhelming desires to smoke and drink excessively, sleeping too much, procrastinating, amongst many other issues can seem impossible when your willpower is lagging. To overcome temptation and rise above various problematic circumstances in your personal life, requires dedication, discipline, and self control. When you have a strong willpower you can accomplish just about anything and start living a healthier life that you can feel good about. There will always be things out of our control, but when we put a concentrated effort in dealing with the things we can control, that’s how we grow and develop as people.

So how do we cultivate a strong willpower and move from impulse to intention? The answer is simply by practicing daily habits that will help you sharpen your self-discipline. By doing things like setting goals, eating healthy, exercising, sleeping enough and more, you can begin to get a grasp on having victory over various temptations and issues in your life.

Set Attainable Goals

The first step in reducing impulsive behavior and living with intention is to set realistic goals. This can be done simply by writing down what you want to achieve on a piece of paper. Choose a goal and a timeframe in which you would like to meet your goal. Try to quit smoking in 6 months? Losing 10 pounds in 5 weeks? Handing in assignments earlier than their assigned due date? Whatever your goal may be, nothing is off limits when it comes to training your mind and body to grow stronger willpower.

The caveat in setting goals is that they must be realistic and attainable. Although you should always dream big, it’s always wise to start small and go slow and steady. Take into consideration your current circumstances and determine if you are ready to set your specific goal or have enough resources to achieve your goal by a certain date. Some goals require financial resources that you may not have at the time. If this is the case, you should set a more attainable goal in a longer amount of time. Or start by setting a goal to save money then work your way to the next goal when you are financially stable.

Setting realistic goals helps promote willpower. As you set goals and consistently remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve you can take the necessary steps to take intentional movement forward. Goals are the stepping stones to achieving a stronger willpower.

Eating Healthy

Believe it or not, your diet can play a large role in encouraging the cultivation of a stronger willpower and the ability to harness the power of self control. Glucose is commonly known to promote energy and increase willpower. Sugar is a form of glucose and can boost your willpower for a short period of time and soon afterwards you will experience a crash in your determination, energy, and emotions. Eating sugary foods is not a sustainable diet for longterm willpower development. Instead, eat a low glycemic diet which provides the brain with fuel to cultivate increased willpower. Low glycemic foods are typically healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and nuts.


Studies show that regular exercise increases willpower, self control, and discipline. Staying physically active is a type of exercise for your brain and mind that stretches your willpower “muscle”. The more you use your sense of willpower by exercising more, the more your willpower will grow and become stronger.

Get Enough Sleep

There’s nothing like a lack of sleep to completely obliterate any sense of willpower you may have. Poor sleeping habits cause fatigue, brain fog, and even serious conditions including depression, obesity, and most certainly a lack of motivation to reach your goals. Getting enough sleep means getting 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Your room should be cool and dark when you go to bed and you should turn off all electronic devices to avoid frequent night wakings. Proper sleep allows your brain to restore itself and give you a necessary boost of energy. When you lack sleep your brain is also unable to absorb glucose and makes you feel more sluggish and tired and promotes poor eating habits.


The scientific and medical community are closely studying peptides to determine their role in cultivating willpower. Peptides are short chains of amino acids and through various studies on animals such as mice, have been shown to improve willpower. Studies completed on mice showed how the peptide helped curb cravings for fatty foods and assisted in controlling impulsive behavior.

The Bottom Line

Cultivating stronger willpower isn’t rocket science. It may be a difficult and challenging task for your body and mind, but it is attainable when practicing healthy habits. Ditch the excuses and impulsive behavior and start living intentionally.

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