Willpower – Why it matters and how to make it work for you

Narelle Lemon and I graduated from our Masters of Applied Positive Psychology together last year. We clicked instantly and have been helping eachother ever since. Narelle invited me to do a podcast with her about Willpower, why it’s important and how you can get the most out of your brain. So, the blog below is a guest post from narelle and the Podcast link is also below if you’re interested.


Welcome back to Jodie Cooper a coach and wellbeing educator who joins us this episode with a focus on motivation and willpower. Throughout the episode we unpack the science and connect with some explicit strategies you can put in place right now as you navigate heavily workloads, high expectations, and personal and professional growth.

We open this episode with Jodie sharing with us how she has been managing a new role and a self check-in that she can’t do everything at the moment. She share with us her experience with a hope map, where she asks herself the questions:

  • What is important to me?

  • If it is really important how will I get there?

  • What are the challenges and obstacles and how do I deal with them?

In this episode we talk all things willpower – What it it? Why is it important? And why is it relevant for us?

Willpower is like a muscle. It requires us to pay attention to it and it requires us to work with it to improve how it supports. We discuss how willpower has three core aspects: it helps us to resist temptation, to take positive action, and for making decisions. We unpack what this looks like and why this is important. We connect in with some stories about how willpower helps us to make those right decisions for us right now.

Throughout the episode we connect with the evidence-based practice while we unpack what happens with the brain. We recommend some great tips and practices to support you to work with moments of pressure and  the expectations that we are engaging with from our self and others.

One of the great things we can do to help our willpower is to focus on one thing. And Jodie shares her latest strategies she has been putting in place to help with this.

In this episode we encourage you to take up the challenge to tune into how you work best so that you a thriving and flourishing. How can you expand beyond the “I am fine” and “I am ok” response and feels:

  • What are your habits that conserve your will power for those important decisions?

  • When does your will power plummet?

  • How do you tune into and be mindful about how your body and mind are supporting you? How do your sleep patterns, diet, and engagement with positive emotions impact your will power?  What is good for you?

  • How do you embrace a time for growth?

  • What does a time for consolidation mean for you?

We end this episode with three tips on willpower recommended by Jodie:

  • Start tracking sleep and then become curious with what works for you and why

  • Stop trying to do everything and overwhelming yourself with to dod list and conflicting goals

  • try more exercise and that it is fun for you, embracing what is right for you. Just aim to do a little bit more than what you did yesterday.

Enjoy this episode as you find your spark and allow yourself to shift what you need to, when and how. This is an episode you’ll come back to over time as it is jam packed with strategies and approaches we can always relate to.

Find out more

Hope maps

Roy Baumeister on Self-control & Willpower

Shawn Achor and the 20 second rule and Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

Connect with Narelle Lemon

The psychology of willpower