Willpower and How to Stick to It!

Just as your body needs practise to perform a yoga asana, your brain needs repetition to learn a new language, your mind also needs training to effectively serve you to live a calm, happy and healthier life. When you train your mind, you’ll also gain willpower and determination. These characteristics help you to, for example, make that yoga asana an advanced posture or open yourself to experiment with new vocabulary. A calm, trained mind can do anything from disconnecting from your limiting beliefs to living a happier, healthier life while following your calling.

Why should you train willpower?

At the start of something new, everything seems exciting, but whoever you are, wherever you are from, the excitement starts to fade and after a while and you get frustrated, lazy, indifferent or unconcerned, and give up on our goals. Training your willpower will make your process more motivating by setting realistic processes and end-goals.

‘As long as you want it, everything is possible’ is a myth.

This is striving for superficial happiness. Happiness doesn’t make you successful, and success doesn’t make you happy. Happiness can bring success if you know how to, and continue to, balance pleasure, strengths and fulfillment.
You could say: ‘As long as you’re striving for the right thing, it’s possible’. 


Ready to learn how you can actually stick to your willpower and determination?


1. Letting go of unrealistic goals

These are goals that take up too much time and goals that are not in your reach right now. Wanting too many things at the same time requires too much effort from your body and mind and in the end limits your success. Choose quality over quantity!

E.g.: working out 7 times a week, exhausting yourself and, as a result, not wanting to return to the gym after a couple of weeks.

Or: Working your bum off on your online business, hoping to see your bank account grow from 0 to 10.000 in one month.


 2. Replacing those goals with realistic goals

To achieve and have success, we need to combine pleasure, strengths and fulfilment by taking small steps. Taking smaller steps gives you the opportunity to celebrate your little successes and actually grow according to where you are in life right now. You’ll feel less competitive, less frustrated and instead, calmer, more grateful and happier.

E.g.: Work out 3 times a week and you’ll notice you have more motivation and maybe even miss the gym on the days you don’t go. This will make you stick to your routine longer and have a more positive effect in the long run.

Or: Starting a business takes time, patience and effort. Lowering your expectations will make you feel less defeated when you don’t reach your goal, more determined when you do reach your goal and will surprise you when you overachieve (do better than your goal).


3. Routine and habits (check out our earlier blog about routines and habits).

Rituals and routines are the only accepted methods when it comes to automatic behaviour. People with a (healthy) routine are more likely to reach their goals, fulfil their wishes and meet deadlines.


Your body truly integrates a (healthy) habit after 66 days and thereafter will start to miss it when you’re not performing it. Therefore, give yourself time to adapt to new and healthy actions in your routine and stick to them. Need help with shaping your routine? Read the ‘blame the brain’ blog and download the worksheet.


4. The words you use or tell yourself 

Speak positively to yourself and your actions will change. Your brain doesn’t like words such as: ‘not’, ‘none’, ‘never’, ‘no one’. Telling yourself things such as: ‘I’m not going to eat sugar anymore’, or ‘I’ll never get up late from now on’ are first of all unrealistic and unnecessary, but it also takes time for the brain to then find out what it’s supposed to do instead! Telling yourself: ‘I’ll eat more fruit instead of sugar’, or ‘I’ll set my alarm and get up earlier’ not only sound more achievable but the brain also understands what it’s meant to do straight away.


5. Doing it, not just thinking it 

There’s no such thing as ‘the right time’ and no one else to blame but yourself. ⁠Here’s a list of the top 5 best excuses used by professional procrastinators:

  • ⁠‘Now’s not the time.’ or ‘I’m not good enough’. (worrier)
  • ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ or ‘Monday, or next month’. (defier: someone who resists)
  • ‘First, I need to…’ or ‘I can only do it when I have …’ (perfectionist)⁠
  • ‘I must do it all, or nothing at all.’ (over-doer)⁠
  • ‘But do I need to do all of that myself?’ (dreamer) ⁠⠀


Do you recognise yourself in any of these? Do you know why you procrastinate? Or what type of procrastinator you are?


Procrastination consumes your willpower. The more the think of something you need to do,⁠ the more your brain thinks it’s already doing it. The longer you procrastinate for, the more tiring it gets and you’ll end up not doing it at all or doing it reluctantly and therefore not to the best of your ability.


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

How to stick to habits, routines and New Year’s Resolutions

And why you didn’t succeed before.

Isn’t it wonderful?! The new year gives you a brand new chance to start over! A new beginning and an opportunity to clear limiting beliefs, set goals and get excited about giving yourself a fresh start. 

Many, including myself, set new year’s resolutions. We’re optimistic and hit the new year thinking that this year everything is going to be better, healthier, easier or  whatever. 

Two weeks into the new year, these resolutions suddenly don’t seem that easy anymore. You fall back into ‘old’ habits, lose your excitement and they start to fade. 

Sounds like you? That was me year after year. But, not anymore and I’ll show you how to turn YOUR New Year’s Resolutions into a part of you as if it’s always been that way. 

Download this worksheet that will help you to really stick to your new habits and routines.

Let’s have a look:

1. Remembering your reasons why 

When doing anything in life, the most important thing to know is the reason WHY! Before we start a project or learn something new, there always IS a reason WHY we want to start it in the first place. Think of the reason why you eat. It’s obvious, because you’re hungry and need fuel for your body. 

Now, why do you practise yoga? Or why do you want to improve your English skills? 

The reason why is your motivation. When we forget the reason behind our wish or desire for change, our motivation starts to fade. We don’t see the importance of it anymore: we simply think it isn’t as necessary as we thought initially and, eventually, we give up.

Think or write down your New Year’s Resolutions or a desire or wish you have to change. If you have written them down with me during the New Year’s Resolution Setting Workshop, go to your page or paper and lay it in front of you to answer the following questions:

  1. When did you first think of this change you wanted to make?
  2. What was your motivation at the time? What is it now?
  3. Where will you be (physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually) after you’ve achieved this change?
  4. How will you feel after you’ve achieved this change?
  5. Who could help you or hold you accountable while you’re making this change and maintaining it?
  6. Look at the answers above and summarise WHY you want this change. 

If you’re doing this with a friend, exchange your ideas. Reading them out loud to yourself in the mirror could also help you emphasise your reasons why and motivation

2. ‘Replace’ instead of ‘restrict’

In ‘Blame the Brain’ we’ve already mentioned it. Restriction is asking for trouble. The more we tell ourselves not to do something, the more we want it. Just telling yourself not to  give in, especially when it’s a long-term habit, has a positive effect only for very few people.

Replace your habits, unwanted actions, thoughts and behaviour with the things, like needs and wishes, that you actually desire. 

When your body and mind are used to getting something or if you experience regular cravings, research shows that the easiest way to deal with these feelings is by  ‘tricking’ the body and mind. Going for a healthier option, but still meeting its wishes in a way.

This way it’s not only easier for you to stick to your new habit, eating patterns or resolutions, it will also help prevent you t from falling back into old habits


If you want to ‘quit eating sugar’ – eat a piece of fruit when you have a sugar craving instead, or replace it with nuts, natural (pea)nut butter or raisins for example. Your body will still get some of what it feels it needs. If you replace processed snacks containing added sugars with the natural sugars of fruit or the beneficial fats in peanut butter and nuts, you’ve immediately replaced your unhealthy craving with a nutritious one. You’ll have satisfied your craving to some extent, so you won’t need your old habit so badly.

If you’re looking to limit your procrastination – go for a walk instead of spending hours browsing social media. During your walk your brain gets stimulated and most often inspired. You might even want to listen to a podcast that encourages you to keep up your good behaviour.

3. Turn your failures into a learning experience

During my yoga teacher training I learned to celebrate my wins and let go of losses. If you focus on the things you have achieved and let go of the things you didn’t do, you don’t only shift your focus, but it also stimulates and pushes you to do more. It helps you to cultivate a ‘gratitude attitude’, boosts your self-esteem which altogether leads to more success.

Embrace the concept of trial-and-error and don’t be afraid of making mistakes or falling back into old habits/relapsing from time to time. Know that errors are necessary to learn, make progress and understand your path, yourself and those around you better. 

I can’t stress it enough: practise and all will come. And if you lose patience or feel defeated, remember all the things you have achieved already! A loss is only a lesson learned and has given you new experience to grow and improve for the better.


You wanted to start the year productively, but it’s the 9th of January and you haven’t done anything on your to-do list. You feel useless, desperate and don’t understand how you’ve been able to let it get out of hand already. 

What did you do instead? Did you spend time with your friends or family? Self-care? Yoga asana? Nothing? Even when the answer is nothing, I’m pretty sure that maybe you needed it. Maybe you needed to charge your batteries to get started. Or you needed this time to realise that NOW is your time to do or start something new. 

Don’t beat yourself up. Yesterday is gone, and today is not too late to start! At least you’re rested and feeling less rushed now! 

4. The power of support and community

For a long time I used to be a lone wolf: a person who enjoys doing things alone, my way, simply because I was stubborn. 

Sometimes we choose to do things alone because we’re embarrassed or think these changes are too personal.

But have you ever heard of a one-man success? Have you ever heard of a one-man success? Neil Armstrong didn’t make it to the moon alone! How could any business be successful without its customers? We need each other.  

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2020, it’s the power of community and support. Surrounding yourself with people that have similar interests and beliefs or who are going through a similar process or phase in their lives, understand each other. They have something to share. They recognise themselves in you, and you in them. This creates companionship and the voluntary willingness to support each other, help each other AND hold each other accountable. 

People are social beings and want to share with and learn from others. Sharing and learning with others not only makes you feel part of something, it also makes you feel seen, heard, understood and cared for. 


Our community is loving, caring and very involved with each other and I would absolutely love for you to be part of it. But, go with your own gut and search for the people that you click with. You know yourself and your needs best, but don’t try to do it all alone, because this will set you up for failure. 


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions

And making plans you can actually stick to.

How are you feeling about ‘next year’? 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions and happenings and certainly tested our patience and motivation. We spent hours watching and reading the news and having discussions, trying to understand this new reality. But no one really knew what was going on or which bits of all the news we received were trustworthy. 

We’ve spent our salaries (or savings) on masks, sanitising products and gels, comfy clothes for being at home, and probably ate twice or triple the amount of chocolate, crisps and other junk as we normally do per year. Thinking that maybe by the end of 2020 this joke would be over.

We’re approaching the end of 2020 and borders are being shut, again. Many of us are obliged to stay at home. We (still) can’t see our grandparents, family, friends and have to be inside the house at a certain time. We stay up late and play school camp at home, because our workplaces are closed or we’re on holiday anyway. 

This is just a brief summary of the year that, to me, sounds like that of a shitty fantasy movie about the world going under, but it became our reality.

I’m sure that in your personal and professional life much has changed as well, and now I’m wondering: ‘How do you really feel about this year?’. 

For many the answer is something like this: ‘It’s a year wasted.’ ‘I haven’t been able to do anything.’ ‘All my plans are being put on hold.’ ‘I can’t wait for this nightmare to be over’. 

Some may say: ‘I’ve never been more creative.’ ‘This was a sign from mother nature to start taking care of myself’. ‘I finally got my head round things around the house I’ve been wanting to do for ages.’  

Whichever answer aligns more with you, I’m inviting you to sit down with me and reflect on the year. Reflection, if done with an open mind and willingness to observe instead of judge, can boost your mood and positivity. It helps you to form a fresh perspective, express your gratitude and gives you insight into your wellbeing (mentally, physically and spiritually). 

If you’re reading this, you’re like me and interested in understanding yourself and the world around you better. Chances are that you’ve done quite a lot of reflection this year already. Chances are that you’ve opened up to new learnings and development, and now you’re ready to start 2021 motivated, optimistic, eager and ready to make it your best year yet. 

Before we start, let’s take a moment and acknowledge our past, become present to then dare to make plans for 2021.  

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve always loved the new year, but I’m especially excited about next year, because I believe it’s full of new opportunities. It’s a new beginning that gives you the chance to clear limiting beliefs, set new goals and get excited about giving yourself a fresh start. 

Now, looking back on all that’s happened, how fast did this year go compared to others? Even though, from day to day, you noticed very little changes, this year has probably given you some new insights due to the little amount of external distractions

We’ve gotten used to meeting on Zoom, come up with brilliant inventions and started to work from the comfort of our own bed, online, or maybe found comfort in spending more time in nature.  

But who doesn’t want a fresh start? There’s always something we’d like to improve, right?

Here, I’d like to present to you my type of reflection and goal-setting for the year ahead. During our New Year Resolution Setting Workshop on the 30th of December, we’ll be going through this process together and we’ll share our experiences in a nice online gathering, as we do anno 2020. 

Here’s a little overview of what to expect:

  • Reflect on the year
  • What to improve
  • In-depth goal-setting
  • Planning for success

At the end of 2020, I did a live New Year’s Resolution Planning workshop with you in our Facebook Group. Still want to say goodbye to the old year. Click on the yoga class below to help you! 


If you’re busy, would prefer to do this on your own or make a start by yourself: download the worksheet.


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Blame the Brain – redirect your routine!

Creating a new routine for a more fulfilling life.

Sometimes you get so caught up in your busy life and your good and bad habits, that you lose perspective and can’t see how anything could possibly change. However, a scientific study has shown two amazing things.
Before your start reading this blog, take a minute and think of your answers to the first 7 questions on your worksheet.

Write them down in your journal, to later reflect on.

Blame the Brain

…then be brave and take responsibility to teach it something new!

MIT neuroscientists have found that a small part of the brain’s prefrontal cortex actually has moment-by-moment control of which habits are put into action at individual moments. And some research has shown that our brains have the power to stop those same habits! (1) The study suggests that habits are not always inflexible and that they can be changed. Also, the brain prefers new habits to old ones, and often when habits are broken, they are not forgotten, but replaced with new ones.(2) 

So, this is great news for you if you want to get rid of old routines and habits, and replace them with better ones. Mindfulness meditation, which you can also experience during your yoga practice, has been shown to activate this very part of your brain! It is associated with concentration, decision-making and planning. (1)

It isn’t about changing your entire life and repressing old habits, but working with your brain and the realities you have. Habits are things that we do so often that, to our brains, they become automatic. First, we need the courage to admit to our bad habits. Then, it takes patience to unlearn things, retrain the brain and learn new habits. 

Be kind to yourself.


Your Routine, Your Plan

Some things can’t be changed, like washing and eating. So write down your current routine or, if you lack one, your duties (work, children, medication…). Write down only the necessities.

Example: Current Routine:
8am: alarm, check What’sApp and social media
8.15get up, open the curtains, shower, hair, getting dressed
8.40make a coffee and breakfast, settle in to start working from home
9am-1pm: work
1-2pm: make and eat lunch
2-5.30pm: work
5.30 -7.30pm: Spanish class (Tuesday)/yoga class (Wednesday)/dance class (Thursday)/homework/cleaning (other days)
7.30 – 9pm: make and eat dinner
9- 11pm: watch a series, film or read a book
11pm: go to bed


What you can adjust or work around to make (more) time for yoga, meditation or a mindfulness practice?
Create a clear picture. Highlight the things that always happen and the things that need to happen.


Example: Current Routine:

8amalarm, check What’sApp and social media
8.15: get up, open the curtains, shower, hair, getting dressed
8.40: make a coffee and breakfastsettle in to start working from home
1-2pm: make and eat lunch
5.30-7.30pm: Spanish class (Tuesday)/yoga class (Wednesday)/dance class (Thursday)/homework/cleaning (other days)
7.30-9pmmake and eat dinner
9-11pmwatch a series, film or read a book
11pm: go to bed


Now, consider your routine a jigsaw puzzle: what changes can you make?

  • Are you able to add a yoga practice or meditation to one of these consistent events?
  • Could you shorten one of these events? Or do them earlier/later so that at that moment you can do your practice?
  • Can you order these necessities differently to create some extra time for you and your yoga or mindfulness practice?

Suggested changes:

  • I’m able to shower and wash/dry my hair at night instead of in the morning
  • I could make my dinner for the week at the weekend.
  • I can practice an evening yoga class and mindfulness before bed instead of watching TV.
  • I will practice a morning yoga class or mindfulness practice when I get up, instead of checking social media.


Example: New routine:
8amalarmget up, open the curtains
8.10: practise mindfulness to start the day OR practise an energising morning yoga sequence
8.40: get dressed, make a coffee and eat breakfast, settle in to start working from home
1-2pm: make and eat lunch
5.30-7.30pm: Spanish class (Tuesday)/ yoga class (Wednesday)/dance class (Thursday)/homework/cleaning (other days)
7.30-9pmmake and eat dinner
9-10pmwatch a series, film or read a book
10-10.30pm: practise a slowing down evening yoga  sequence OR practise gratitude to end the day
10.30-10.45: shower, wash hair, prepare clothes for tomorrow
11pmgo to bed


It’s all about being conscious about what you do and how you do it, priorities and good planning!


Your Turn!

Download the worksheet for a summary of steps you could take.

Remember this is trial and error. You aren’t looking for the perfect solution in 24 hours. Retrain your brainexperiment with your reality and find the right adjustment(s) that will nurture you, not stress you or tire you out.

Remember why you are here.

  • Set your expectations lower, but do prioritise making it work.
  • If you find yourself getting distracted or prioritising other things, acknowledge this. Pay attention to when you’re going off track, recognise it, try to understand why and redirect yourself, remembering why you started this journey in the first place.
  • Don’t resist failure or difficulty as this creates tension and anxiety. The more mistakes you make now, the more progress you’ll see in the future!

When you’re done – grab your journal and answer the reflection questions at the bottom of your worksheet.

Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.


(1) Kelly, Diana, ‘How to break bad habits with your brain’, Headspace, viewed 24 November 2020, <https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/08/07/break-bad-habits/>

(2) Trafton, Anne, 2012, ‘How the brain controls our habits’, MIT News Office, viewed 24 November 2020, <https://news.mit.edu/2012/understanding-how-brains-control-our-habits-1029>