How to Successfully Reach Your Goals: Willpower Alone is Not Enough

Willpower alone is a finite source to reach your fitness goals-primalbreed fit

Do you feel like there’s a personal barrier stopping you from achieving your goals? Have you found yourself achieve a little success only to revert back to your old self? Have you tried countless diets, fad workout techniques and are still in the same spot? I think we’ve all been there at one point or another in our lives which inspired me to write this article summarizing a concept i learned from Jim Fortin called ‘Be – Do – Have’. The goal is to dive a little deeper and shed some light on why willpower alone is not enough to accomplish and more importantly sustain your goals.

Key points:

  • Willpower is a finite resource. It can get you up and running, but it is not enough to achieve and keep your results.
  • For long-lasting change your identity must change as well.
  • Work from Be-Do-Have rather than Have-Do-Be.
  • Repetition is the key to change
  • Mindset and self-awareness dictates your success


Willpower alone is a finite resource

How often do you see or hear of people who try to use willpower aka self control for a few days maybe a week only to eventually give in and go back to their regular self?

Willpower can be great to get you started but relying solely on it will not provide lasting and sustainable results.

Why is that?

Many people focus and work from this equation: Have – Do – Be. Well if i HAD more time, i would go to the gym and i would be fit. Well if only i HAD more money, i would invest in myself more and i would be happier. If i HAD more this, i would do more of that and i would be X.

This equation is backwards.

The equation we must work from is Be – Do – Have. What kind of person do i need to be, so i can effectively do, so i can have the things that i want?

It all comes down to our identity and our identity is all sub-conscious.

If you want to know your REAL identity look at your life and all the things and people around you and that is your current identity.

To create lasting and sustainable change, willpower can most definitely get you started but a change in identity must also take place to create sustainability.

All too often people who win the lottery – millions of dollars – end up losing all the money in a few years and become broke again. How’s that possible? Because at the identity(subconscious) level they are still poor.

People who lose weight by following a ‘diet’ – through self-control and willpower alone  – most often revert back to their old self. Their inner self image still believes they are overweight so it eventually becomes a reality again.

The way of being that got you in your current situation will not be the same being that will get you out and keep you out of it.

Use willpower as a definite kick-starter along with sub-conscious reinforcements of becoming the person that has the things that you want.


How would the person that I want to be feel, think, act ?

Examples of ways of being: committed, self-integral, responsible, driven, self-disciplined, persistent.

When people want to lose weight, they think i need to start DOING cardio, workouts; i need to cut out sugar (DO), i need to do this and that so i can lose weight. Yes that is true, however if they are not being committed, it never works out. If self-integrity is not their way of being, it will fail in the end.

We must BE in order to effectively DO so we can HAVE the things that we want to have.

Your doing is only as effective as your being doing the doing.


Overcoming old brain-patterns

Your way of being has created habits that your brain acts upon on auto-pilot.

95% of decisions that we make on a daily basis is done by the subconscious mind, followed by a conscious justification for it. “I’ll only eat a little piece of cake. It’s in the fridge anyway plus i don’t like to throw out food. I won’t buy it anymore from now on.” This reinforces the brain to be uncommitted and perhaps lose self-integrity. The more this process is being repeated, the more this way of being is solidifying as one’s identity and brain patterns.

In order to create long-lasting change the focus must be set on changing our identity – who we are being, through repetition.

Being committed to your goals and repeating this state of being over and over will eventually create a new identity. Committed will become your new way of being and things will start happening to you effortlessly because you are simply being who you are, subconsciously.

The difficult part is making that transformation. Facing the ‘dark demons’ that lure us back in when we try to change.


Repetition is your friend

Key to overcoming the hardships of change is repetition.

Repeating the way of being that the person you want to be is – committed, self-integral, responsible, persistent, positive, strong-minded, hard working – will eventually become who you are, at an identity level.  

Constantly ask yourself ‘How would the person i want to be act, feel, think, be?’ and  ‘Am I being that right now?’

If your goal is to finally lose those 25 lbs and keep it off for good, a decision must take place.

Ask yourself “How would the lighter, healthier me act, feel, think, be?” Would she make excuses/procrastinate on her goals or take action and see it as an opportunity to become better?” “What kind of habits would the fitter, healthier me have?” Write down the answers that you get from these questions start being them.

Work from a place of Be-Do-Have rather than Have-Do-Be.

Note* Action (the doing) is always the prerequisite of accomplishing a goal, however the distinction that separates success and sustainability from its counterpart is where the doing stems from. Does it stem from a being that is committed, self-integral, responsible, decisive, etc. or not?


Things to do that can accelerate your success:

  • Join or have a support or mastermind group that is working towards similar goals. The combined energy and atmosphere will lift up yours and keep you going strong.
  • Hire a knowledgeable coach that will guide you and keep you accountable along the way.
  • Show interest and learn as much as you can about that given subject. Constantly exposing your mind to it in a positive manner will have a positive impact on your success.

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