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Increase Willpower by Simplifying

23 December 2015

I came across an article, which I thought I would share. This is one of those studies on the way our brain works that is important to understand if you want to start achieving even more of your goals.

After all, the New Year is coming up and even though those of us who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t, 92% of us are headed towards failing to achieve our resolutions this year.

So how do you become one of those 8% who achieve their goals year on year? The answer is in understanding how your brain works, and how to nurture and utilise your willpower, which I explain in this video.

If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.

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If you would like to have an obligation free discussion about selling your business, please email shweta@growthidea.co.uk. You can find more about our investment criterion on https://growthidea.co.uk/private-equity.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

I recently came across a very interesting article and wanted to share that with you.

An Example of a Case Study

So there was this study which was done with a class of undergraduates, and they were split into two groups. One group was asked to memorise a two digit number, and the second group was asked to memorise a seven digit number. And then both of the groups were asked to go out and take a walk in the hall. When they came back, they were offered a slice of cake, and a bowl of fruits as options. Now surprisingly, the group which had to memorise the seven digit number was twice as likely to pick up a slice of cake than the bowl of fruits.

What Makes Willpower So Important?

Now why it’s important for you to understand this is because in your business, when you have to achieve goals, you need willpower. And the part of the brain which is actually responsible for that willpower, or takes care of that willpower – is located right behind your forehead. And that is called pre-frontal cortex, now this part of the brain is actually responsible for short-term memory to keep you focused, to give you strong willpower, to deal with abstract information and make it more granular.

Now what happens generally is that when you are setting your goal, if it’s not specific enough, if it’s abstract or if it’s too much or too big. Then there is cognitive overload, for this part of the brain. And in that case, willpower suffers.

Abstract vs. Reality

So going forward, if you are really committed to achieving your business goals or personal goals – the distinction that you need to make is rather than focusing on abstractions, you need to focus on some very simple specific behaviours which actually helps your brain to bring in that willpower to support you, to achieve that goal. So for example, if you say just at a personal level – “I need to become healthier”, or “I would like to have a better, fitter body.”

Instead of that, if you tell your brain and you actually be very clear that a simple behaviour that I need to have is to go out for a three-minute walk after dinner, the chances of you being strong and having stronger willpower is a lot higher compared to being abstract. And that’s when your brain comes into the picture and supports you with your goal achievement.

If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.

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We are looking to invest in good businesses.

If you would like to have an obligation free discussion about selling your business, please email shweta@growthidea.co.uk. You can find more about our investment criterion on https://growthidea.co.uk/private-equity.

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