You need more WILLPOWER! Yes you can do it! You have all the ability in the world to become great at anything you put your mind to! If you want to accomplish your goals, sacrifices will need to be made. If you consider willpower to be “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals,” then you have to consider how to best utilize your ability to resist temptations. So, let’s talk about specific things you can do to optimize your willpower.
The more choices you have, the more mental energy you expand in assessing those choices. This activity wears down your willpower. If you only have a certain pool of willpower, you don’t want to drain that pool. Avoid decision fatigue!
If you only have one pool of willpower for all tasks, then you need to be smart. Put the important stuff first and concentrate your energy on those priorities. For most of us the problem is not a lack of goals but too many of them!!!
Do you have a FitBit? Or use My Fitness Pal to track your macros? If you find yourself with depleted willpower and your buddies are all heading for Happy Hour, you could say, “I’d love to go, but I need to get more steps in so I’m going to take a walk.” Turn down that second serving of chocolate cake because “it doesn’t fit my macros.”
Hold yourself accountable. Let your friends and family know that you’re trying to eat better, move more, and take better care of yourself. “By going public, you’re not just exposing yourself to potential shame, ” writes Baumeister/Tierney, “You’re also outsourcing the job of monitoring, which can ease the burden on yourself.” Simply put: Let other people help. If someone asks you about your workout, you’ll want to tell them what you did, not that you skipped it.
Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t abandon your plans. The worst thing you can do is fall into a “What the hell” mentality and then eat everything and/or stop moving. Extremes are hard to navigate. Stay to the middle of the road, and if you veer off, veer right back on.
Are you a victim of BLACK AND WHITE? Our brains have a hard time with absolutes. Never feels like deprivation, and we want to rebel. But later? Later seems okay to us. You’ll have that dessert later. You’ll take a rest later on this walk. Sometimes you will come back and not want it !
Pre-Commit ! YES ! Before you give yourself an option to say no, say yes first ! You’re “precommitting” because you’re setting yourself up to commit to the right decision when your willpower is low.
Keep track, reward yourself often (for the psychological benefits), and use your willpower in the smartest way possible. We might not have pastures of willpower to harvest, but we can all do better with what we already have. Keep going! You got this!