Build the Willpower “Muscle”

Money Vikings are not perfect with money, none of us are.  I have my occasional impulse buy.  I am not as disciplined as I always should be.  But hey, one has to enjoy life, right?  My wise grandmother once said that the past, present and future are all important.  You have to understand where you came from, you have to cherish the present and make the most of it and you have to respect the future because it is coming no matter what.

Back to my main point, will power.  Lately I have started trying to “work out” my willpower like a muscle.  An example: I really enjoy Cafe Mochas at Starbucks.  I like chocolate and I like coffee, so I’m screwed on this one!  Or so I thought.  My brain is wired to enjoy the addictive combination of fat, sugar and caffeine.   but I know this is a waste of money at high priced coffee chains.  So, every once in a while lately when I really want one, I deny myself.  And after a little while the urge goes by and I move on.  I recently read that this is particularly difficult with that particular combination of sugar, fat and caffeine.  Our bodies and brains crave this combination of foods and it becomes very hard to resist.  All of a sudden our brains are telling us we have to have it, and we are end up paying $4 and up for a cup of coffee!  We have to reign this in.

I think every once in a while trying to control this behavior builds up our will power little by little, like a habit or a muscle.  If we are to ever reach a high net worth and conquer financial freedom, we will need some willpower along the way for sure.  Here are a few ideas for dealing with these situations and cravings:

  1. Find an inexpensive alternative to satisfy the craving.  The obvious one is make your own darn coffee.
  2. Find a partner or friend that shares your values and will do something else with you.  It is very important who we associate with if we want to build wealth.
  3. Set yourself up for success. We typically turn to things and habits like this when we feel stressed.  Read about and implement other ways to manage the normal stress in our lives.
  4. Set up an alternative.  Lately I keep a bar of dark chocolate at my desk and green tea.  This way I can satisfy the craving without spending too much.
  5. Get out of the habit of online automatic click shopping.  Some of us are getting addicted to just scrolling through online sites and clicking away our wealth building potential.  Take a break when you want to buy something, ask if you really need it, and give it a day or two.
  6. Check your geography.  Are you making it a habit to just stroll through the mall.  You will become a rat in a maze to retailers trying to lure you in.

Managing our cravings and having strong will power is a major component to wealth building.  What are some other ways to work out this “muscle”?

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