We often say that you shouldn’t rely upon willpower alone to achieve your weight loss goals. What we mean by this is that no one will stick with a bad or excessively uncomfortable plan forever. No, you probably won’t be able to live on lettuce alone, or exercise four hours per day. Any reasonable person would “lose” their willpower – and fall short of their goals – before very long in those situations. And that would be okay, because those plans don’t sound very healthy, anyway.
On the other hand, we all need some willpower, don’t we? You need willpower if you’re going to wake up fifteen minutes earlier every morning, to pack a healthy lunch. You will also need willpower to wait until later to watch your favorite TV show, and go for an after-dinner walk first. It takes time to develop healthier habits – even the reasonable ones – and in the meantime, you need willpower.
So, how do you develop more willpower when you’re tempted to throw in the towel?
Step One: View willpower as a muscle, not an inborn personality trait. Like a muscle, willpower gets stronger as you exercise it. So set small goals at first, and then gradually increase the difficulty level of life changes as your willpower becomes stronger. You don’t have to make a dozen drastic changes all at once.
Step Two: Chart your progress. Keeping a weight loss or exercise journal is important, because it helps you see real, solid results. Look back at Day One of your exercise regimen, for example, and the progress will prove to you that your willpower is growing stronger. You’re able to do so much more now!
Step Three: Don’t let small setbacks discourage you. So what if you ate a cookie yesterday? That doesn’t mean your willpower has been broken, never to return. Even the biggest health and fitness buffs occasionally eat cookies, too! Instead, it’s a learning experience that ultimately can help you hone your willpower.
Of course, you need a definite exercise or weight loss plan to which you can apply all of this developing willpower. That’s where we can help. Give us a call, and we’ll help you get started on a plan that can transform your health.