Willpower in the workplace

We don’t often put the words “willpower” and “workplace” together unless we’re talking about donuts, muffins, and bagels. But today, I want to share how leveraging some good, old-fashioned elbow grease and grit can help you attract, find, and land a fulfilling job and career.   

Willpower is all about motivating yourself to do what you need to do—and stopping yourself from doing anything that’s not in your best interests. It requires us to train our minds in such a way that we consistently see the world and behave in a way that attracts what we want to us. 

Here are some of my favorite willpower tips and tricks!

Get Energized

If you have ever stayed up all night talking about something interesting, then you know what power the mind has over the body. It doesn’t take much willpower to continue doing something you enjoy. 

Willpower is finicky and can fluctuate based on our energy levels, so when you’re feeling low, play energetic music, move around, laugh, and look for the interesting parts of whatever project you are working on. Once you identify your best energy boosters and motivators, make a list and train yourself to use them whenever you need a boost.

Make Things Easier

If you feel stressed when you think about processing paperwork, attending another board meeting, or paying invoices—simply don’t think about it! Just take the best next step. That might mean printing out all the forms you need to sign and reviewing one or two a day (instead of five to 10 on Sunday night because they are due Monday). It might mean rewriting one page of your website content every week for the next month, instead of tackling the entire site in a week.

No matter the task at hand, I promise you can find enough motivation for one small step. Start training your mind to take that step as soon as you think of it, and the next steps become easier.

Practice Self-Awareness

Are you getting antsy around 3 p.m. and ready to just call it a day? Sometimes it’s hard to resist temptation, right? Willpower is a nice idea, but here is a simpler solution: Stop standing in front of the cake! Okay, I know we aren’t talking about cake, but my point is that sometimes, if we shift our focus, we can shift our cravings. Willpower doesn’t mean being immune to temptation—it just means we need to stop looking at the clock, put our phones on “do not disturb,” and plan our days around our energy levels. Track your schedule for a week to get an idea of when you’re not at your best. By knowing when your resistance is low, you can avoid putting yourself in situations where you might not present your best self. For example, if you notice that you tend to cancel meetings on Fridays, stop scheduling anything for Friday—instead, use that day to play catch-up, take continuing education classes, or get inspired. 

The true keys to willpower are learning about yourself and using what you learn to make the behaviors you want easy. Take a look at what energizes and motivates you. Where are your strengths and weaknesses? By studying how you feel in certain situations, you can leverage your willpower more effectively to create more alignment and joy in your work. 


  • Sara Reed

    Truth Teller, Holistic Professional Coach, and Career Therapist

    Moonstone Coaching and Consulting

    Sara Reed believes that we create our own reality—on and off the job. She is passionate about helping professionals who feel stuck, exhausted, or unfulfilled step into their power and truly take charge of creating the career they want. She weaves real-world insights and truth-telling into all her individual coaching programs, workshops, masterclasses, and events.