No Self-Control? Breakthroughs to Build Your Willpower

e_may_photo_1I am often told that I must have extraordinary will power.  I’ve lost and kept of 60 pounds and working out is a daily thing for me. I don’t honestly think my willpower is better than yours. I’ve spent time building up habits by exercising my willpower.

I have read articles on why willpower is like a muscle; it needs to be exercised and it gets fatigued. It makes a lot of sense. When you are constantly using your energy to say no to things you want you deplete your energy. By the end of the day you have exhausted your willpower and seem to cave in. It’s easier to fluff off the gym, yoga class, and to eat an unhealthy dinner.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change.  You need to exercise your willpower and build it up. Here are some tips to help you start:

1) Do the task that you want to avoid first thing. This way you do not spend all day wasting energy worrying over it. Or have a certain day for certain tasks. Hate filing? Pick a day when you can put on some music and make the task more enjoyable.

2) Plan your meals and you don’t have to think about what to make for dinner.  When you know what you are going to make you don’t waste energy on making more decisions. Not sure what to make, let someone in your house pick from some healthy options. Takes the pressure off of you.

3) Forgot to plan dinner or you’re running late? Have some healthy choices in the freezer. I freeze soups or casseroles that I’ve cooked for those moments when I know darn well I don’t feel like cooking. I can just pull one out, defrost, and heat.

4) Plan your workout. I know that on Saturdays I run with my group.  It takes away  any planning or wondering when I’m going to get my long run in. Plus, I have people waiting for me so it takes away debating on if I want to go or not.

5) Celebrate your successes. Rewards work, pure and simple. Plan a treat of some sort for when you reach your goals and take the time to enjoy it.

Start small and don’t worry about small setbacks. It takes time to create a habit and with some practice you will eventually get there.

Do you have a goal that just seems impossible to reach? Maybe it’s losing that last 10 pounds or starting an exercise habit. Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a free strategy session if you would like some support to help you reach those goals.