Willpower Has Its Limits
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 2, 2017
Often we find that we have the best intentions to act out healthy behaviors… but after a while, it becomes harder and harder to defend against the temptations of food and the couch. Willpower can be difficult to maintain – but there are ways you can learn to overcome! I’m Wendy Corr, with your daily wellness tip.
Every day, you use willpower, in one form or another. You resist the urge to surf the Web instead of finishing your report. You reach for a salad when you’re craving a burger. You bite your tongue instead of saying what you really think. But more and more research shows that resisting temptations on a regular basis takes a mental toll.
There are opposing views as to whether or not willpower really is a finite resource. Some experts liken willpower to a muscle that can get fatigued from overuse – but muscles can get stronger when they are exercised!
How can we stay strong in our determination? Here are a few ideas.
First, don’t keep yourself in a constant state of exercising your willpower. Give yourself a break frequently by taking yourself out of situations in which you need all the strength you can manage to resist temptation!
Second, build good habits. By structuring your life and your schedule until certain healthy tasks become automatic, you’ll stress less and have more mental energy to apply self control in other areas.
Outsourcing self-control is one of the best tools for increasing your willpower. By enlisting an accountability partner, you’ve got an external force that helps to keep you on track, rather than relying solely on your own internal motivation.
Take on large tasks one step at a time. Often people give up not because they lack willpower, but because the become overwhelmed by a large goal they have either set for themselves or that’s been determined by others. Break large projects into smaller action steps, and the whole thing becomes more manageable.
And finally, don’t put yourself in temptation’s way, or if you do, have a plan. Keep trigger foods out of the house, and plan ahead for restaurant outings.
Thanks for tuning in to Wellness with Wendy! I love sharing tips and tricks to help you live your best life – so for more health and wellness news and advice, follow my blog on mybighornbasin.com.