Motivation: Strengthen Your Willpower!
By adancersliveit on August 20, 2014
Good morning all, and happy Hump Day!! :) We’re halfway through the week and for me, that means one day closer until classes start again!
No I’m excited for this year, it will be great! I know everyone else’s will be too! (For those of you cool people who attend school).
As the last few days of summer wind down, I’m finding it easier and easier to get a little bit lazy knowing that I will have to be working hard again soon. Gotta conserve the energy you know? ;)
But hey, it doesn’t have to be like that! I have goals for this year just like everyone else, and I won’t let anything stop me from achieving them. No matter what your goal is, I’ve got a few pointers for you that will help you get that raise at work, become a better eater, or even just clean your house! (That takes willpower too…)
Willpower is something we call on throughout the day, every day, to help us decide between the black pants and the blue ones, for instance, or to try to tune out our roommate’s phone conversation so we can get our work done. Unfortunately we have only a certain amount of willpower in any 24-hour period, and it tends to be strongest at the beginning of the day. And, boy, do we put willpower through its paces: We spend three hours a day struggling to resist temptations like eating, surfing the Web, and spending money. This alone leaves us physically and mentally drained.
The good news is that you can conserve your willpower and use it to reach your goals, not squander it on the small stuff. Here are 6 techniques to do just that!
- Focus – Blaring TVs. People talking. E-mails, calls, and texts. We live and work in really noisy environments, which makes it hard to concentrate. The solution? Eliminate distractions rather than trying to ignore them! That text from your friend about the party last night can wait, SHUT OFF THE PHONE. You’ll feel so much better, I promise! Who cares if you just got an email from your favorite store about a new sale? It will still be there LATER!
- Eat Well, Eat Often - The more often you consume good-for-you food, the more willpower you’ll have. People whose blood sugar is elevated to a healthy level, as it is after regular meals, have more self-control and can more easily resist junk food. Even better, to keep yourself willpowered all day, eat healthy meals or snacks every four hours. Choose foods that have a combo of protein, fiber, and complex carbs, like a salad with tofu, nuts, spinach, and tomatoes, or Greek yogurt with fruit. YUM. :)
- Plan Ahead – I’m a HUGE advocate of this. Cut down on the number of decisions you have to make every day and your willpower muscle will automatically get stronger. Get to work right now at reducing the number of choices you have to make in any 24-hour period. For example, on Sunday, plan your workouts for the week and put them in the calendar on your phone. When they become a part of your day, it’s so much less stressful to accomplish!
- Make Exercise Automatic – Speaking of exercise, debating whether or not to work out takes a lot of mental energy. When it happens routinely as I said above, like taking a Spinning class every Tuesday and Thursday, it just becomes a part of your day. To start a new exercise habit, pick a time when you’ll be able to work out consistently. For me, that’s first thing in the morning. Put your workout clothes near your bed, where you’ll see them first thing, no excuses there right?
- Stress Less - Nothing weakens your resolve or zaps your initiative like stress. Once you become stressed, your willpower goes right out the window. To calm down and replenish your energy, go for a walk. I’ve found this to be so helpful! Fresh air will help you relax and get back on track for success.
- Buddy Up - News flash: You’re still susceptible to peer pressure. It’s really easy to imitate others around us. If the person sitting next to us eats a lot, we’re more likely to overindulge as well. Even pals who live hundreds of miles away can affect our habits. Ever hear of something called Facebook and Twitter? BUT, our friends could get us excited about exercise. Yes, it is possible. If your friend takes up running and says, “Hey! I’ve got more energy,” it may encourage you to start, too. Making the commitment to get and stay in shape together will help build your willpower and keep you motivated to reach the finish line.
Whatever your goal is, come out fighting! You got this! It’s honestly just mental willpower that stops us from achieving our goals, but don’t let it stop you. Nothing is impossible people! :)
Have a “willpower-strong” Wednesday!!
Question of the Day:
What distractions are present in your life? (Mine are mostly texts and emails)