The Science of Willpower and your Hoop Dance

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Jenni Fenton was paralyzed right before Thanksgiving 2011 and has been making hoops and sharing hoop love to anyone and everyone since her accident.


"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right" Henry Ford

SEE ALSO: Making Money Selling Hoops: Part 1

What is will power?

It is the inner strength to make a decision, take action, and handle and execute any aim or task until it is accomplished, regardless of inner and outer resistance, discomfort or difficulties. You have to know from the beginning to the end that YOU WILL GET THERE. Be confident that anything really can happen if you believe.

Scientists know that our brain is not hard-wired, but rather constantly adapting and recreating itself (neuroplasticity), we are able to take steps to get to our current goals. So really at any moment we have the power to change our entire lives around. In Elementary school I was never good at sports. I spent my time as a gap-toothed youth learning monologues and dancing in musicals. I really never considered myself an athlete or even a Kinetic learning at that matter until I picked up the hoop. It was an inspiring moment for me. I had just moved to a new city (Santa Cruz) and was beginning to leave behind the troubles of my old life. I decided I would keep hooping until I got as good as the hoop legends I watched on YouTube. It was an ambitious goal and I had never really promised myself anything like that before, but I was starting a new page in my life and this instrument seemed like the perfect way to tell my story. I decided I would reach my goal with only a single hoop trick under my belt.

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Every year an upwards of 80% of all New Year’s resolutions eventually fall by the wayside. Its obvious that making goals stick can be tricky business, but by practicing willpower you can reach any milestone you try and climb.Will power is like a muscle. The more you work on developing it, the more you can incorporate it into your life. It helps to start with small feats. "This week I will learn one new isolation, film it, and feel comfortable with its concepts." By keeping small lists of goals, that will help you get you to your final goal. Writing lists is a great way to organize your practice and keep your mind busy during times you cant hoop. This can include keeping a small list of all the concepts, combos and tricks that you have already drilled into your practice. Enjoy your hoop process and keep your mind open for new ideas. Choose a end goal or resolution that you really want, not a goal that someone else desires for you, or a goal that you think you should want. Choose a positive goal that truly comes from within and that contributes to something important in life. So one day you can share your hoop happiness with the world!

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Healthy Habits

There are a number of ways that you can increase your willpower and improve your practice.Remember that nutrition plays a key role. “Eating a more plant-based, less-processed diet makes energy more available to the brain and can improve every aspect of willpower. Don't rush it you will get there when you get there, any time we’re under stress it’s harder to find our willpower. Stress encourages us to focus on immediate, short-term goals and outcomes, but willpower helps us keep the big picture in mind I have a saying, "When you get stressed out, Hoop it OUT!" Even a five minute hoop session outside can reduce your stress levels, boost your mood, and help you replenish your willpower reserves. Its also important to get 8 hours of sleep each night to keep you alert happy and healthy so you can reach you highest hoopy potential!! Finally, if you experience a setback, don’t be hard on yourself. Although it seems counter-intuitive, studies show that people who experience shame/guilt are much more likely to break their resolutions than ones who cut themselves some slack. In a nutshell, you should “Give up the hoop guilt.”

SEE ALSO: Five Suggested Foods for Hoopers

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