Willpower Techniques To Achieve Health Goals
What is willpower? Today we’re in for such a special treat. Sharon Lipinski is an amazing Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, and she teaches fantastic willpower techniques to transform our life one step at a time. It can rock our world.
Leaving A Job
Sharon Lipinski had a high-pressure job and started having panic attacks. She lived with that for about a year before quitting. Warning bells started going off in her head, and Lipinski realized she needed to make a change.
She shut down her practice, without knowing what she was going to do next. So, she spent the next two years “discovering” herself. She went on spiritual retreats and meditation retreats.
Sharon had this idea that spending a month alone by the ocean would help her figure out what she wanted to do with her life, so she rented a house in Newport, Oregon for the entire month of November.
She would walk her dogs past the corner convenience store and chat with an older man who was living as a caretaker. The store was closed because there weren’t enough tourists in November, and the man was always alone.
Sharon and the man would chat for a few minutes, and she learned a little about him and his story.
She learned that he was a recovering drug addict whose family no longer spoke to him. She knew he would be alone for Thanksgiving, so Lipinski invited him to spend Thanksgiving dinner with her at a Chinese restaurant.
Lipinski hoped the man would say no, so she could feel good for asking but wouldn’t have to do it. But he said yes, so she picked him up and she drove into town for dinner.
When Lipinski looked across the table, she didn’t see a man she barely knew. She saw a human being who rarely had an opportunity to talk with someone who cared about him and what was important to him.
Realizing What Matters
Sharon suddenly realized, it is the little things that make the big difference, and the little things can be done today, no matter how much time and money she had.
This simple dinner with a stranger caused her to look back on her life. She wasn’t giving very much to herself, and she wasn’t giving very much of herself.
That’s the moment Sharon devoted her life to discovering how to be more generous on a daily basis and likewise inspire others to be more generous.
Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles
Sharon went on to start Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles to help people who like to support causes you care.
We have three different circles: veterans, ending poverty and one around helping pets. So you choose your circle, you give $25 a month, and every three months, we give it away.
Virtual giving circles organize around different causes, and your small donation is pooled with other people who care about the same cause. That group becomes your donation team.
“Nearly half of our waking hours, we are not paying attention to what we’re doing, while we’re doing it,” said she. “We’re talking about habits of exercise, eating right or behaviors of thoughts and relationships.”
Why Willpower is Important
Sharon says that if we can start small, it can be that jumping board for us to change our lives. Start strategically with the major habits.
“We have a huge misconception of what willpower is. Willpower is a form of mental energy, but your body fuels it,” Lipinski said.
And we use mental energy to control our thoughts, emotions, performance and our feelings.
Think of it as one tank of gasoline in your car. So you get one tank of willpower for everything.
“Sometimes, your willpower isn’t there for you because you used it all up. Willpower runs on glucose and sleep, so you’re tired and hungry,” explains Lipinski. “Like the gas in your car, you have to fill up your tank again.”
What Is A Habit?
A habit is a routine of behavior that repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously. But what we’re talking about is an actual physiological process.
“In our brain, there is a neuro-pathway that connects the beginning of an action to the end of an action,” Lipinski said. “When you do something new for the first time, your brain has to work hard at this. All the neurons along that pathway will fire.”
But, Lipinski says that if you do it the next time, you’re a little familiar with it. Hence, it will be easier. Once you keep doing it, fewer neurons fire.
“The brain loves habit. Because it is the path of less resistance. Your brain wants to be an efficient use of energy,” said Lipinski. “So if it can bypass all the things it doesn’t have to do, it’s going to take that path.”
Process Of A Habit
She says it begins with understanding the anatomy of a habit.
First of all, there are three parts of a habit—trigger, action, and reward. In other words, something has caused you to act a certain way, to get a particular benefit.
Sharon also advises getting in touch with knowing if it is important. Because there are thousands of habits we could create, but sometimes, they’re not that important. Hence, we’re doing it because somebody else thinks it is important.
Lipinski says there are three parts to a successful action: it has to be as simple as possible, it has to be specific, and it has to be an attainable act.
“Make one habit trigger the next. Create a minimum requirement. It’s not about intensity; it’s not about duration,” Lipinski said. “It’s the simple act of doing it that builds your neuro pathways. Hence, you just want to keep that fire alive.”
7 Fundamental Habits
1. Physical health
4. Connecting with yourself
Sharon Lipinski is the author of “365 Ways to Live Generously: Simple Habits for a Life That’s Good for You and for Others” which helps people create their best life through by practicing the 7 generosity habits.
She is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, a speaker, TV personality, and coach dedicated to helping people create the right habits so they can be happier, healthier, and more productive at home and in their work.
Founder of the non-profit Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles, which helps people make small donations that make a big impact by pooling their small donations with the donations of other people who care about the same cause.
She also maintains the largest repository of information documenting the tools, strategies, and accomplishments of some of America’s eight hundred charitable giving circles.