Working out, but not losing weight? You might be forgetting a muscle! I am talking about your willpower muscle. I like to think of willpower as a muscle because the more you train it the stronger it becomes.
Even during the holidays, when you are the most exhausted, the most tempted, and the most likely to give in to short-term temptations, you always have the ability to unleash your willpower in service of your long term goals!
So here’s what I’m thinking… What better time to start developing your willpower muscle than now? Between long shopping days, holiday parties, and excess baked goods – temptation lurks at every corner.
Try out my willpower workout!
The Willpower Workout
1. Watch Your Language: Your words are powerful. You will have more willpower to commit to your goals if you “get to” do it rather than “have to do it” and it’s easier to deny temptations if you “don’t” indulge, rather than “can’t ” indulge. Spend a full day tuning into your thoughts and bring awareness to the words that are not serving you. Once aware, work to reconstruct your language to better support your goals.
2. Choose A Motivational Mantra: A mantra is a phrase that you may repeat in your head to overpower temptations – and trust me there will be plenty of them. A personal favorite of mine is: “don’t give up what you want most, for what you want now.” Choose one new mantra each week this month to keep you focused on your true desire.
3. Indulge In Your Favorites: Don’t keep yourself in a constant state of restriction. Plan to indulge with zero food guilt on special occasions and relish in the deliciousness and joy of your favorite treat. Life is not about constant limitations. Plan to indulge once a week in something small yet satisfying and really be present in the moment.
4. Chunk Down Your Goal: Oftentimes, people give up not because they lack willpower, but because they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal that lies ahead of them. A good way to deal with this feeling of overwhelm is to break the goal down into manageable pieces, and line them up in a sequence that guarantees success. I suggest setting a daily action step. For example, your big goal may be to lose 50 lb., but break it down into 1 action step per day. So today set a goal to go to the gym or to skip the diet coke at lunch.
5. Create A Feel Good List: If you’re feeling down, stressed, overwhelmed it can be easy to cave into cravings. To combat this, come up with a list of things you can do besides eat the entire bag of chips and salsa to make you feel good. Maybe take a bubble bath, play your favorite song, or call your best friend.
And hey, let’s be real; somedays your willpower will go out the window. Just like a muscle if overworked, it will weaken until it has some time to recover. That’s ok. Let it go. You can and you will get back to practicing it the next day!