Sunday, May 6, 2012

Always ... A Way!

 Personal experiences have proven to be either a failure or a success.
Upon re-evaluation, I discovered methods that I could apply
which resulted in more...that achieved success.

How to Increase Your Willpower to Achieve Your Goals

Psychologist, Elaine Ducharme says, “Several of my friends and patients rattled off
laundry lists of resolutions at the beginning of the year...yet, weeks later, many had
given up, saying that they didn't have the willpower to follow through. 

Her advice:  Focus on one thing at a time and work on ways to delay instant
gratification.  You can learn techniques to increase your willpower and achieve
your goals.

About 93% of people say they set a goal to change a behaviour..
according to a new survey of 566 adults conducted by Harris Interactive for
the American Psychological Association.  Lack of willpower is the No. 1 reason
people give for falling short. But the majority (71%) think willpower is something
they can learn. The Executive Director states, “ Willpower goes by many
definitions including self-control and delaying gratification.  It's the ability to
resist immediate temptation in order to achieve some longer term goal
Part of the problem for many people is that resisting temptation takes a lot of
mental energy. You have to...  talk to yourself...distract yourself...remind yourself
of the longer term goal. That can lead to mental exhaustion...which is the enemy
of self-control.  You can strengthen that ability. 
 Here are some ways to increase your willpower. 

Practise Self-control!  If  you exercise willpower in moderate amounts
regularly, it gets stronger.  So if you resist  temptation to eat a doughnut
on several occasions, you'll be better able to resist them. Practising self-
control on anything...seems to increase ...self-control everything.

          In my early days of learning to drive, and after obtaining my licence,
          I expected all drivers to “practise what they had learned”...however
          that is not to be depended upon!  Several will transgress the law
          (because now they know everything!). Road rage will solve nothing!

Find Smart Trade-offs!  You can learn not to give in to impulse by making
more thoughtful choices.  For instance, instead of having a bowl of ice cream,
you might have a cup of coffee (sweetened a bit if necessary).  If you're
satisfied, you've strengthened  your resolve to resist  ice cream.

           On a long travel drive trip, friends recommended I obtain a GPS.
           Rather than purchase it,  the CAA gave me “all the information”
           I needed...maps, a drive-route designed especially for me, a large
           state book with suggested points of interest...and personal service.

Find Someone to Hold You Accountable!  It makes it easier to reach your
goal because someone else is supporting you.  To begin working out regularly,
get a walking buddy or exercise partner...whereby helping each other to achieve.

           Several years ago, after a few winter seasons of not skiing, a friend,
           Shirley, and I booked in  for a ski-holiday at Gray Rocks in Quebec.
           We both needed to build our stamina to energize ourselves
           physically for the upcoming vacation.  We arranged each evening...
           rain or hail or snow or 7 pm to meet to initiate our jogging
           program.  At first we lasted a block or so...with our joint commitment
           it became not only a chore as at first, but an anticipated activity.

Reduce Temptations!  It's easier to be successful if you're not bombarded
by temptations.  If you're trying to reduce your credit-card-debt, then take
only cash with you when shopping.  It relieves you of the burden of
exercising self-control.

           For years I had an almost obsession for clothes (probably due to the
           many luxuries that in younger years were not affordable).  Being in
           business I had many outfits.  Occasionally I'd see something that
         “I  just must have.”  My resolve, therefore, was to ask myself,
         “If I buy this, what  must I part with from my wardrobe?”
          The decision, then became easy!

Set Short-term Realistic Goals!  Trying to lose 25 lbs. can be daunting, but
shooting to lose a few pounds may be less so. After you lose a few pounds,
and your pants are a little less tight, you may be encouraged to keep going.

           In High School English classes, we were instructed to write a poem.
           At first, I struggled to write one verse;  then soon able to write a
           couple verses...then 3 and 4.  For achievement! 

            When my children were young, I had taken a few years off from
             teaching.  My friend Shirley, and I decided to “learn to crochet”.
            We did know what a crochet hook looked like...but to crochet???   
            Together we started with flat mats...pot holders;
            then when our tension was smooth and even, we attempted
            vests for our children comprised of “granny squares”.  Wow!
            Then it was cloche-styled hats and shawls.  Our last big project
            were 2-piece swim suits...and then the pinnacle of crocheting
            were dresses...hers in a peach shade and mine ice blue!!!

Reward Yourself with Feedback!  When it comes to exercise, you can track
the amount you've done or the calories you burned. Anything that rewards you
for your willpower, serves to strengthen it in the future.

           The ideal solution, I've discovered, is to “look for the positive”.
           This attitude will always outweigh the negative! And continue
            to encourage you to make improvements.

Have a Plan!  If you have diabetes and work in an office where people are
bringing in birthday cakes and doughnuts, keep some fruits or other healthy
treats in your desk so you can eat those.  You'll have to use less self-control
if you have planned ahead. 

           When teaching, it was necessary to have a Plan Book...with the studies
           to be carried out each given day, outlined in detail and necessary
           equipment stated.  Some teachers wrote these plans day by day;
           however, one never knew whether illness would beset him.
           To avoid this, each weekend,  I organized my teachings for the
           complete week...facilitating “the supply teacher” for the class.

Focus on One Goal at a Time!  The more goals you have, the less likely
you are to achieve them...because every goal has its own set of self-control
needs and depletes your mental energy reserves.  This kind of exhaustion
is the enemy of self-control.

           As previously mentioned, my knowledge of  “writing a blog” was
           absolutely NIL!  Yet,  friends recommended I learn to do so, to share
           my personal experiences with you, the readers.  Yes...I had several
           articles already written...prose...and poems...hidden within a file
           folder.  Writing a “blog” seemed too complicated...would I ever
           learn “how”?  A good friend, very computer-literate, showed me
           how to place my work on “a document”...spending several hours
           with me.  Then, my son, working in Calgary at the time, walked me
           through the process of “creating the blog”...that was fun while he
           was on the other end of a Teamviewer program with me.  Thus
           Merle's Kaleidoscope of Life was born! to “post it”!
           With a step-by-step outline, I referred to it frequently until it
            became a habitual routine.

Evaluate Your Motivation!  The goal has to be something you want!
If someone else is telling you to do it, your chances of failing are higher!
You may think you didn't have the willpower, but it could be that you
didn't want it badly enough.

           Four questions you may ask yourself to test your motivation:
           WHY do I want this?
           WHAT  does it require that I do?
           HOW do I achieve it?
           WHEN shall I begin?


Recently, I read a novel by Rebecca Brandewyne
“Glory Seekers”
in which she delivers a conversation,
I believe is sensitive to the foregoing.

“Each of us has to fight our own battles in our own ways
to make the best decisions we can at the time we make them. 
Our actions are coloured by …our age and experience...
and by our emotions and values.
If we could see into the future, we'd know the answers
to all our questions. But we can' we don't!
We can only look back on the past
and recognize what we'd do differently
if we had it to do over again. 
That's both the merit and deficiency of hindsight.
Hopefully, however, we learn...from our past mistakes,
and grow into better human beings for them.”

“Pearl of Wisdom”
Every journey
with one step.
(Chinese Proverb)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written April 26, 2012
Comments welcome...scroll down (may sign in as “anonymous”)


  1. Merle,

    What a wonderful inspiring Blog Post this Sunday morning. You will always be a great teacher to me !


  2. Gracious comment! We are a "teacher" for each other. I value and respect your suggestions and continuing ideas.
    WE share a special friendship!