Tell me if you can relate to this…
Part of you wants to make healthier eating choices, but you continually find yourself falling back into old habits and eating things that you know aren’t going to serve you.
And every time you tell yourself that you just need more willpower or motivation to stay on track next time.
“I just need to be stronger!”
“I just need to get motivated again!”
And how’s that been working for you?
How is the search for a secret reservoir of willpower going?
Not great? Let’s talk about why that is…
Why Is The Search for More Willpower Doomed to Fail?
The strategy of constantly counting on more willpower to magically materialize and help you make better choices is a recipe for failure.
Why? Well, think of your willpower like money in a bank account.
Each morning when you wake up you have a certain amount of willpower in your account (how much depends on how well you slept, what you ate the day before, health issues you have going on, etc.).
As you go about your day, every time you have to make a choice, you make a little withdrawal from that account.
And we’re not just talking about resisting the donut on display at your local coffee shop.
No, “willpower” is simply another term for “decision making.” So, that means that every time you make a decision of any kind, whether it’s about donuts or about what you’re doing to wear, what email you’re going to answer first, or how you’ll respond to a text, you’re drawing on that decision making power and making another little withdrawal from that daily account.
And just like any bank account, the more you tap into it, the less you have in there.
This is one of the primary reasons why people tend to have a much harder time making healthy choices in the evening (after making decisions all day long, their willpower account has run dry).
And, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no secret reservoir of willpower coming to save you.
Willpower is unreliable, fickle and untrustworthy.
That’s why hoping for more willpower is not the answer.
I want you to understand this because, when you make willpower your primary strategy for making healthier choices (as so many people do), it’s bound to fail you 99% of the time, leaving you utterly vulnerable to cravings and pressure from outside forces (like the deep fried calamari at the restaurant or your husband bringing home pizza).
There is a better way.
What Should We Do Instead?
Instead, we need to learn new tools for making healthier choices that do not rely so much on willpower.
We need strategies that we can fall back on long after our willpower account has run dry.
And we need a reliable system that we can count on no matter how we’re feeling, what time of day it is or what’s going on around us.
I’m talking about an approach that incorporates:
Mindfulness – Spending less time in auto-pilot and more time being curious and aware of your habits and feelings puts you back in the driver’s seat and grants you the power to change them.
Feeling the Feelings – Learning how to effectively manage feelings like stress, boredom and uncertainty without turning to food becomes a true superpower.
Habit Mapping – Understanding how habit loops actually work in the brain gives you the power to break old ones and create new ones consistently.
Visualization – Being able to clearly see your future healthy self and feel how wonderful and delicious it will feel to be her offers an internal source of motivation like nothing else.
Self-Care – Effective self-care strategies help you get ahead of the feelings of stress and overwhelm that push us towards unhealthy choices.
Self-Love – Learning how to love yourself enough to want to make the healthier choice consistently is the greatest gift of all.
These (and more) tools, strategies and systems are exactly what I teach inside my 8-week Change Your Brain – Change Your Body program. Because, when you have a solid and reliable foundation in place supporting you in consistently making the healthiest choices for you, then you no longer need to rely on that elusive and unpredictable entity known as “willpower.”
You take back the power and you have the clarity, confidence and freedom to know that you’ll be able to make the best choice for you – no matter where you are, who you’re with, how you’re feeling or what else is going on around you.