We all have them. They are the most noble of wars…..we make that decision, we make that commitment….”This time”, we say, “This time I am going to win! This time I am going to follow through and make all of the right decisions!” And we do. For a few days. Maybe a week. And then we get tired. The self-talk starts……and it all falls apart. Why? What happens to all of that will power? What happens to that all important goal that we want to reach in THE WORST WAY?
Willpower, as we call it, is the logic decision making that we use to “combat” the emotional impulses that we REALLY want to act on. Some of us are more logical than others, but emotion is ALWAYS more powerful in the decision making process than logic. Simple as that. Your logical side can only hold out so long against your emotional side.
Does this mean that you are doomed to never reach those goals? Lock up your running shoes and grab the Oreo’s? No! Of course not. It just means that there are a few simple steps that you should take to back you up when that willpower of yours backs out on you.
The first step is to minimize temptation. If your family insists on keeping the chips and cookies in the house, that is ok. Find them a new home. Segregate the “junk” food, and place it somewhere out of reach. When you have the impulse to grab a junk food snack and your willpower is nowhere to be found, you will have to take extra steps to consciously make a less-than stellar choice. This is often times enough to wake up the willpower, and re think your choice.
Keep healthy foods (that you actually LIKE) in easy to reach, very visible spots. Keep a wide variety to satisfy different types of cravings. Keep a water bottle and bowl of apples on your desk. Pack a wonderfully fresh and tasty lunch to bring with you. Make it easy to make better decisions.
Fast food and snack food companies thrive on our emotional impulses. “You deserve to treat yourself!” They tell us. Well you DO deserve to treat yourself. Just not with junk food. Treat yourself to that super cute hoodie (or manly new running shoes!). Reserve them ONLY for your workouts. Treat yourself to a fabulous meal that fits into your clean eating lifestyle. Reserve your favorite new tunes for your workouts, or your favorite new TV series for your treadmill sessions.
Bottom line is this: Your willpower needs some help. Eventually, your emotional side will overpower you (temporarily of course). You can take these simple steps to change your environment a little bit, and prepare for, (and power through) these willpower relapses!!