Do you ever wish you had more willpower? When it comes to willpower, people tend to think they were either blessed with it…or not. But, that’s not true.
There are some very simple things you can do to develop more willpower. Perhaps you’ll never be “perfect” (no one is). But, with a bit of practice you can definitely develop more willpower. If you’d rather watch a video, zoom down to the bottom of this blog.
Tips to Have More Willpower
Why is it that you can resist those morning doughnuts, and eat a healthy lunch…but come mid-afternoon the cravings come? Here are three facts about willpower that will help you to understand – and what to do about it.
- Willpower runs on glucose. That’a brain food! So if you’re looking for more willpower, then give your brain the fuel it needs to perform. The brain burns about 500 calories a day coordinating all the body’s activities and our thought processes, including willpower. While much of the body can run off of fat (including our stored body fat), the brain requires glucose. And for that we need to eat on a regular basis. Low blood glucose leaves the brain struggling to think properly resulting in poor decisions – hitting the coach instead of the gym and reaching for sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. So, eat on a regular basis…low glucose can cause us to make poor decisions. Eat breakfast and then eat small meals throughout the day to ward off hunger and keep your willpower strong.
- Willpower doesn’t behave well if it’s tired. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to find it more difficult to make the right decisions. But, in addition, just like our muscles get weaker after working out, so does our willpower or ability to control ourselves. There’s this classic study that was done with Israeli parole boards. Right after meals and right after breaks, the parolees had more favorable rulings…the longer after a break, the more unfavorable the ruling. So, get a good night’s sleep and take more frequent breaks during the day to reboot your willpower.
- Willpower runs out. It’s been said that adults make around 35,000 decisions in a day. Everything from what time to get up, what to wear, eat, say, do…And, it’s exhausting! As we make more and more decisions throughout the day, our willpower runs out. And, we end up falling back to our old habits. So, it’s important to have a plan…that then become rituals. Plan out your meals and snacks in advance. Map out when you’re going to workout and what you’re going to do. Plan a simple wardrobe so early morning decisions don’t stress you. Have sleep and rest rituals, too – like taking a recovery break every 90 minutes or so. In other words, create healthy habits that don’t require willpower. Save your willpower for the most important decisions of the day.
Today’s Reboot Challenge:
Identify one healthy habit that you want to initiate – one that, over time, won’t require any willpower to be successful.