Yesterday as a client disdainfully patted his belly he informed me he had a burger for dinner last night.
I left the bun though. And I just ate 3 chips. Well maybe 6 chips.
My gut reaction when I hear such things is not: “Well you must not be too distraught at having that belly then if you’re going to be ordering a burger and chips!”
It’s more along the lines of “WOW, you have about a billion times more willpower then me if you can stop at just 3… or just 6 chips.” or “Are you lying to me??!”
Although I certainly don’t think I have a heap of willpower I do have a heap of tips I use daily to maximize my willpower or more-so to out-plan my lack of willpower!
In todays show:
6 Tips To Increase Your Willpower.
One: Know Your Eating Personality.
I’ve spoken about this before in my 3 Day Easy Vegan Plan.
As a quick recap: Perhaps you’re the RULES Eater?
You like to have a plan to stick to. You actually find it FREEING to not have to worry about what to eat when.
You just want to know it’s going to work. You don’t want to ever waste energy thinking “Is this ok?” or “Can I get away with this?”
Maybe, in contrast you’re the GUIDELINES Eater?
And you hate an exact plan to stick to. You see it as RESTRICTIVE and BORING because you like to eat what you happen to feel like eating on the day, at that time… and you certainly don’t know what that’ll be in advance!
Either can work. However setting up home, office and eating out experiences for a rules eater will not work for a guidelines eater… and vice verse.
A guidelines eater doesn’t want to hear “NO chips ever!” and a rules eater would find it torturous to keep a block of dark chocolate in the fridge and ration off just 2 tiny squares a day.
=> It’s simply a matter of knowing your eating personality and then planning accordingly.
Two: Start Each Day Fresh.
Your best quality breakfast of lean protein, fibrous veg and good fat is the ideal start to a winning willpower day. In contrast starting your day in deficit – with the goal of eating as few calories as possible – to make up for excess consumed the day before is inviting a willpower loss.
I’ve seen it happen too many times.
The day you start overly extreme or with a focus on restriction and deprivation is going to fall apart. Either later that day or maybe tomorrow however it will end in another over consumption and this time I guarantee it’ll be poor quality fuel you turn to… because, you deserve it!
=> What your body really deserves is top quality fuel each meal regardless of what happened in the last meal.
Three: Be Hard On Yourself Before You Decide. And Forgiving After The Deed Is Done.
When you’re sitting at the restaurant, accessing your options – seeing those delicious, crispy hot chips get delivered to the table across from you this is the time to be tough on yourself.
Willpower is like a muscle you can strengthen. Each time you use it makes it stronger. Next time it’ll take less effort to have another willpower win.
However your self-talk after a bad decision is just as important. There is zero value in guilt.
If you rip into yourself for being “So weak and greedy and lacking in self control” that is exactly the language your unconscious mind will fixate on and go hunting 24/7 for evidence to support. As I covered in show 001 what you focus on expands as you will filter in more evidence to support that focus… whether it’s positive and supportive or the reverse.
=> Be supportive of YOU. Hunt for the learning in every decision you make and get awesome at out-planning your previous lack of willpower situations.
Four: Banish ‘Borrowing From Tomorrow.’
“I’ll workout for twice as long… or eat half as much TOMORROW!”
I’ve absolutely been there. The thing is, when you borrow from tomorrow: how often do you come through for you?
The super-vast-majority of the time I’d let myself down. Often I’d stack borrowing from tomorrow’s on top of each other.
By the end of the week I’d be facing a day of restrictive joyless eating, ridiculous amounts of exercise… and worse, a lack of belief in ME.
=> The willpower you don’t have today you’ll have even less of tomorrow. So, it’s time to banish ‘Borrowing From Tomorrow.’
Five: UN-invite Ironic Rebound.
“no hot chips” “No delicious hot chips!” “NO delicious crispy hot chips!!”
Ironic rebound is when you focus on avoiding something so hard that you invite it back to your focus again and Again and AGAIN!
=> First: Acknowledge those hot chips… and also: Accept that the random thought of hot chips is not a sign your body needs / Deserves / MUST HAVE them! It’s merely a random thought.
=> Next: Consider the hugely compelling WHY behind them not being on your menu right now.
=> Now: Focus instead on the many delicious things you can and do still get to enjoy.
Six: Set Small Timed Deadlines / Goals.
Now this may sound like the most boring tip however I’d rate it as my #ONE way to maximize my working willpower.
If you struggle with starting your workout or meal planning then please give this tip a go as it may well be as potent to help you “get your workout on!” as it is for me to “get my work on!”
It’s this simple.
When I plan my day to come the night before in addition to prioritizing what needs to get done first – when I have a full willpower tank – I also set an amount of time to spend on each task.
Multiple times a day it’s only my lil iPhone timer that gets me to take action. The key is to make it achievable. For me that’s 45 minute blocks of time for most things. I’ll generally complete ‘2’ 45 minute blocks back to back and then need a quick break.
The strategy looks like this:
=> Plan what you want to do tomorrow that you’ve lost a willpower battle with in the past TONIGHT.
=> Plan the achievable amount of time you’re going to spend at it.
=> Make it your first task of the day. That thing you attack with a full willpower tank. Set a timer and you’re off!
To get actionable today I’d love you to try one of the ‘6’ Willpower Tips and let me know what you think.
My fav is: #Six: Set Small Timed Deadlines / Goals… however #Two: Start Each Day Fresh… is super timely right now. To recap #Two it states, Your body deserves top quality fuel each meal regardless of what happened in the last meal.
That’s it for me and also for this week in Healthification.
Is there anything you’d love me to cover in an up coming show? Please let me know. I’d love to hear from you via the show notes or even better via an iTunes review. Those little reviews absolutely 100% make my day.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Will Power: 6 Steps to Build Your Self Control Muscle. (part 1.)
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.