The Key To Everlasting Willpower

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Thing Of The Past

 

If there is one thing ALL of us struggle with when looking to achieve health and fitness results it’s WILLPOWER.

For years people have battled with their willpower (or lack of it) and used it as the main reason for their lack of success.

Here’s the thing though…

Willpower tends to follow certain patterns according to research. It appears to peak and trough.

No-one has high willpower all of the time, but what the people who get results do is use it to its maximum when it is at its highest levels.

Before we look at how to make the most of your inherent willpower, let’s look at what willpower actually is.

What is Willpower?

Willpower – The strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans.

 

Above is a dictionary definition of willpower.

When looking at this one word really stands out for me…..DECISIONS decision

Here’s why…

I have helped people achieve their ideal body and health for years now and one thing that separates those that succeed from those that fail is definitely the ability to make better decisions.

These people appear to have high willpower because, by definition, they have ‘the strength of will to carry out one’s decisions‘.

But do they really have higher willpower than the rest?

Or do they simply make their decisions when their willpower is at its highest?

Decision Fatigue – The Secret Enemy

It turns out that there is a phenomena known as ‘Decision Fatigue’ that explains why we may have low willpower, and in particular, why our levels of willpower fluctuate.

The basic premise is that the more decisions you make in a day the more it ‘drains‘ your decision reserve. As the amount of decisions you make increases, your reserves deplete, and you automatically start to make ‘easier‘ decisions.

Every planned to go the the gym after work and then decided not to?

This explains why. Especially if you had a particularly stressful day.

Deep down you know that exercise is a fantastic way to relieve your stress, but the depletion of your decision reserves makes it nigh-on impossible to make the difficult decision to actually go to the gym.

This great post by James Clear shows some examples of how this affects other things in the ‘real world’ too – http://jamesclear.com/willpower-decision-fatigue

How You Can Overcome Decision Fatigue

1 Make Decisions In Advance

This is especially important with things like nutrition. If you leave things to the last minute in terms of deciding what you want to eat then I can guarantee you will make a worse decision than if you had made that decision upfront, and even gone as far as planning the meal way in advance.

Decision like; What shall I have for breakfast? When will I exercise this week? What days am I away from the office and need to take food with me? – Can all be made in advance when decision reserves are high and better decisions can be made.

2 Prioritise Important Tasks

We all know we should prioritise things.

But when it comes to willpower, it couldn’t be more important!

Doing the important things and making the important decisions early on in your day when decision reserves are high is a sure fire way to improve upon the level of results you are currently getting.

For example, I make a lot of decisions about my week ahead on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Why?

Because I am relaxed after the weekend, full of energy, and my motivation levels are high.

Most people start the week feeling on a high and ready to ‘smash’ their exercise and nutrition efforts out of the park, and they do! But come Thursday when decision reserves are depleted, they start to slip.

If they had made decisions and took action earlier in the week to make sure they were prepared for the end of the week then the outcome may have been completely different.

3 Take A Break

If you sit at a desk all day surrounded by work, stress and negativity from colleagues… then guess what?

You’re going to make poor decisions and have minimal amounts of ‘Willpower’.

Why?

Because you simply aren’t giving yourself a break and a chance to top up your decision making reserves.

“But Matt, I’m super-busy at work and can’t get away from my desk”

Well then guess what?

You need to DECIDE to get up and give yourself just 5 minutes away from it all.

Pretend you’re going to the toilet if need be!

But don’t sit there and scroll through your phone, check emails, or tag friends on social media.

…Just switch off for 5 and come back with a clear head that can make good decisions.

Willpower In A Nutshell…

Willpower IS NOT something you either have or don’t have.

It is not something that remains consistently high all of the time.

You CAN make small changes to your lifestyle that will improve the levels of your willpower.

Willpower is in fact a term used to describe the level of Decision Fatigue you are currently experiencing. So in short, making less decisions daily can massively improve your willpower.

Before You Leave…

If you have enjoyed this article then please take a moment to click one of the share buttons on this page to share this and help out your friends. You can also leave a comment if you have any questions.

I’d like to thank you in advance by giving you a free giveaway to help you out on your own health and fitness journey…

Free Waistline Shrinker Guide

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Matt

Author: Matt

I help busy Brides feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera on their Wedding Day.

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2 Comments

  1. Good article Matt. It makes sense to make important decisions when you’re fresh rather than tired. The hard part is then sticking to the plans that you’ve made

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  2. great article! Makes a lot of sense and puts a new light on will power!

    Post a Reply

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  1. The Simple Wedding Weight Loss Plan - Bride Snap - […] The Key To Everlasting Will Power […]
  2. WMS 2: The 3-Step Motivation Strategy - Bride Snap - […] already written in the past about Decision Fatigue and how it affects motivation, so I won’t go in to …

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