The Power Plan to Increase Your Willpower

Stop struggling with your willpower with this plan from Dr. Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct.

Step 1: Brush Your Teeth With Your Non-Dominant Hand for Two Weeks

Doing something as seemingly inconsequential as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand is a practice in self-control. This is about creating a habit of noticing what you're about to do, choosing the more difficult thing instead of the easier route and practicing self-restraint. Over time, this will strengthen your willpower so you can conquer bigger challenges.

Step 2: Wait 10 Minutes Before Giving Into Temptation

Temptation has a very narrow window of opportunity in our brains. Studies have found that delaying gratification by just 10 minutes is enough to make the reward less valuable to you.


Step 3: Do Something Out of Your Routine for 10 Minutes a Day

Most people think willpower is just about saying "no," but it's also about saying "yes" to do something good for you. You know what it's like to want to do something, like work out or clean the house, but it's easier to say no to these situations. Commit to doing something not part of your ordinary routine for 10 minutes every day. Set a timer on your oven or phone. This exercise will help you build a habit and stop making excuses.

Step 4: Celebrate Your Successes, Not Your Failures

When you fail and tell others, it can prompt a domino effect. Stop yourself from sharing when you have a willpower slip-up, and instead, pick yourself up and move on. Do share your successes, though. You can help motivate friends and pick each other up.

This plan was originally created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. See all the Truth Tube plans here.

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