We all have something that we want. It could be professional, emotional, physical or spiritual in nature. To attain it, some effort is required. if the goal is ambitious, then a lot of effort is required. To achieve lofty goals, we need to have a combination of willpower and determination. Willpower is the motivation to apply free will in our lives. It is the motivation to assert ourselves even if there is opposition or there are obstacles in our path. Determination is our ability to try our best to keep on doing something even if it is very challenging to do so. Both of these qualities are required if you want to achieve a major change in your life. However, they require constant energy to maintain them. If you don't keep them up, you run the risk of not achieving your goals. To boost your chances of success, here are 15 ways to increase your willpower and determination.

Make the decision to be determined

A strong, specific decision needs to be made so as to become more determined in anything. This decision indicates your direction. It shows you how to move forward even when you begin to encounter challenges on your path. This decision is set in stone, motivates you through hard times and keeps you focused during easy times. As such, determination begins by deciding what you want and sticking to your decision no matter what.

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Discover your why

Willpower is fuelled by emotion. It is a motivation to keep going. For you to keep it burning, you need to have a strong why behind it. This is your reason for doing what you have chosen to pursue. Ensure that your why is strong. This will help you to know what to do next.

Do not fear

One of the biggest killers of determination is fear. When you are determined, you perform at a high level. However, fear interferes with this process and makes you deliver lower results than is required. As such, you have to be brave and face your fears so as to become more determined.

Control your stress

One of the ways to restore willpower is to manage stress better. As indicated above, willpower is emotional in nature. Therefore, when we are stressed, negative emotions are released and our willpower is diminished. As a result, we are unable to perform effectively when our relationship, sport or profession requires us to. Therefore, to increase this source of strength, we have to manage our stress in such a way that we reduce it. This can be accomplished using breathing exercises or meditation.

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Encourage yourself to stick to your original plan

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, using phrases of self-affirmation can help you to have more willpower. This is because such phrases help you to develop self-control and therefore are able to stay determined to succeed. This self-control can be applied in sticking to your routines, plans and targets. This is a sure way to succeed.

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Get enough sleep

Health providers encourage us to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Many of us get so much less than this. It could be due to our jobs, stress, relationships or too much entertainment. Doing so depletes our energy. As a result, our willpower reduces. Therefore, make sure that you get enough sleep every night. This will help you to recharge and refresh yourself enough to face the day with strong willpower.

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Exercise regularly

Exercise is well known to be good for our bodies. However, did you know that it is great for our minds too? Seeing as determination is a mindset, exercising regularly can increase our capacity for determination. It can help us to release stress and reach fitness goals. This encourages us to achieve more in life by being determined.

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Improve your nutrition

We are what we eat. This is true on both physical and mental platforms. It is advisable to eat a balanced diet. You can achieve this by consuming some fruit, vegetables, starch and protein on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, eating well releases endorphins in our bodies. These hormones make us feel good. They fill us with positive emotions that can help us to develop willpower. As such, maintain good nutrition to achieve success.

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Postpone irrelevant activities to maintain focus on the relevant ones

Interestingly, postponing irrelevant things can actually help you. This activity can help you to overcome negative things like bad habits and addictions. By telling yourself, "Not now, later," you can gradually generate the determination to finally kick this bad influence for good. This is vital so as to achieve success in life.

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Delayed gratification contributes positively to your effort

The practice of delayed gratification is where you decide to delay your reward until you achieve something. Then you can reward yourself with a treat. This normally contributes positively to your discipline and makes your willpower stronger.

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Give yourself some breaks so as to maintain willpower energy

Willpower is very much like a muscle. You have to exercise it regularly so as to grow stronger. However, there is always the possibility of over-exercising it. Maintaining willpower through self-control for long periods of time is great. However, you have to give yourself a break every once in a while. Therefore, schedule breaks in your pursuit of excellence.

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Imagine yourself being more determined

An interesting quality of our minds is that we can actually imagine something and feel as though it is true. If we imagine ourselves being determined in a particular activity, we are more likely to perform the same way in the real world. Therefore, take some time every day to imagine yourself performing at a high level. This will make you get stronger and perform the same in real life.

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Fight negative thoughts with positive ones

Our willpower is often hampered by negative thoughts. Whenever we have so much will to perform in an excellent way, a negative thought emerges out of nowhere and destroys this strength. To eliminate it, simply think of a positive thought every time the negative one emerges. This helps you to control your thoughts and eventually your actions.

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Create positive habits

Whenever we are stressed, we tend to go back to the habits that we have already developed. These could be bad or good ones. Good habits can keep you strong even when you are facing challenges. They can keep your determination alive. As such, foster them with enthusiasm.

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Practice makes perfect

One of the reasons why professional athletes do not fail under pressure is because they have practised so much that the sport is second nature. They have complete confidence and determination to win. Therefore, practice your craft as much as possible. This will give you the willpower and determination to be successful when it counts most.

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The Important Take Away

Two elements of performance that can take you to the highest levels of achievement are determination and willpower. They are intrinsically motivated. Hence, follow the tips indicated above to keep these elements alive. They can make you successful in any field you desire.