How Can You Strengthen Your Willpower?

How Can You Strengthen Your Willpower?

In 1972, researchers at Stanford University conducted an experiment wherein a child was offered either a single marshmallow immediately, or two marshmallows if the child was willing to wait a period of time. The researchers wanted to find out if children who understood the value of delaying their gratification would go on to have greater success in their lives than children who did not. I illustrate this study in my soon-to-be-published book, F**K REGRET.

The ability to delay gratification, that is, to choose to forego a small, immediately favorable outcome in favor of something better down the road, will only help you along your path. Why is the ability to delay gratification important? Let me give you an example.

Minor Satisfaction Now, or Greater Satisfaction Later

Suppose your goal is to start your own wellness business. Before you’re able to get your business going, someone comes along and offers you a great, high paying job with their company. Taking the high-paying job will give your income a nice boost in the short-term, but it may come at the expense of owning your own business in the long term. Do you take the job?

If you answered “yes,” then you may need to take a look at strengthening your willpower. If you want to achieve the goals you set in life,  never settle for a quick, easy win. Instead, cultivate the strength to hold fast to your plan and keep moving forward toward your goals.

Strengthening Your Willpower

Your willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it will get. Below are a few steps you can take to start strengthening your willpower today.

Mind Your Language

Using negative terms, such as I can’t, can sap your willpower before you even realize what’s happening. I can’t watch TV right now. I can’t eat something sweet right now, etc. Instead, try replacing I can’t with I don’t. I don’t stop working to watch TV. I don’t eat sweets because I eat healthily. See the difference?

Get Enough Sleep

When you don’t sleep enough, fatigue can creep its way into every corner of your life – including in how strong your willpower is. Adequate sleep is not just invigorating, it’s empowering.

Not Now, Later

When you find yourself wanting to do something other than what you know you need to do right now, tell yourself you can do anything you feel like doing, but later on. Right now there is work to be done, there will be plenty of time for fun or rest later. Remind yourself that you’re not skipping out on things you enjoy, you’re just putting them off until you finish what you have to do now.

These are only a few of the many ways you can work on strengthening your willpower on a daily basis. More can be found in my book, F**k Regret. Try them out and see what works for you. Once you begin to create habits, exercising willpower will get easier, and your success quotient will increase.


Tony Velasco Podcast Author and businessman, Tony Velasco, teaches the principles by which he built a multimillion-dollar business enterprise in his 20s. He lives in Valencia, CA with his wife, Allison. Tony believes that the prospect of losing is a part of growth, and greater than failure we should fear regret, in all things, at all costs.

His soon-to-be-released book, F**K Regret offers a step-by-step description of how the author executes every aspect of his daily life, how he was able to sustain the shutdown of gyms and other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how he is rebuilding. Follow him on Instagram and at https://tonyvelasco.com