A lot of people ask me about willpower because they think they don’t have enough of it.
Here’s what’s wild about that: it turns out, the fact that they think they don’t have enough willpower might be why they don’t have enough.
Back in the 1990s, scientists came up with a theory called “ego depletion,” which basically says that willpower is a limited resource.
And, if you’re tired, stressed, or have made a ton of decisions during the day, you’re more likely to run out of it.
Which sets you up for skipping your planned workouts, ordering takeout instead of eating a healthy home-cooked meal, etc.
BUT… new research suggests that ego depletion may only apply if you believe in it.
So, if you believe you will run out of willpower, you probably WILL.
But this is actually really good news.
It means you can take back control (and personal responsibility!) over your actions — and stop “relying” on willpower!
One way to do that: the next time you feel like you don’t have willpower, go into PROBLEM-SOLVING MODE.
Ask yourself: Why do you feel like your willpower is slipping?
Is it a schedule problem?
A planning problem?
Are your expectations too high, too soon?
Are you tired?
Are you stressed or upset?
I find that everything takes longer to do than I want, this not only drives me nuts, but it messes up my plans for later because I come home more tired and sometimes frustrated and not enough time to do everything on my list which sometimes includes exercising.
What to do? Meal planning! While this doesn’t work everyday, if I have my dinner already planned and prepped for, this takes the stress off figuring out what to eat. And if I have planned one that just needs to be thrown into the oven, I have time for a quick workout while it’s cooking. Or I take the time to sit down and have a cup of tea or chocolate LMNT (my favorite electrolytes) and just chill for a few minutes.
Nothing is more motivating than feeling like you’re making solid progress — and the way to keep moving forward is to keep solving those problems!