Having only recently discovered this incredible force we call willpower I’m still fairly new to the whole concept but I thought I’d share my thoughts on the topic. It’s amazing how this is most people’s make or break factor when it comes to training and nutrition. Yet most people don’t even realize that’s what they’re lacking. Negative self-talking yourself out of that jog and into a bowl of cake batter is all a matter of willpower. Although try not to confuse willpower with “The Secret“. Simply ‘willing’ things to happen won’t get you anywhere! To me it’s a matter of balance; choosing when and where to FLEX your willpower and hitting your goals and also conversely allowing yourself the freedom to live and enjoy your life. Just make sure your FLEXING daily or as I’ll talk about below your willpower will become as underdeveloped as a marathon runners biceps.
Why you should use your willpower daily!
It feels good! Whether it gives you that pride in your self control or a little smugness at being able to pass up on that extra cupcake exercising your willpower can give you feel good endorphins just like physical exercise!
Willpower is like a muscle – repeated contractions cause micro-tears leading to repair = strengthening and hypertrophy. So if you don’t use it you’re going to lose it!!
It’s going to get you to your goals a whole lot faster than wonton instant gratification. Unless that’s your goal. Well good for you. Tick that off the list.
3-step Willpower Training Exercise
First of all you need to identify the situations where you feel out of control and identify triggers and motivations behind your behavior. Sit down and write out these and then clarify your reasons for wanting to change your modus operandi. If you don’t want to change you never really will.
Put yourself in situations you know will test you (Take it easy though – don’t get in over your head) – have a little pep talk beforehand, when in the situation count to 10, envision your goals, FLEX your willpower (it’s powerful) YOU have control of your mind AND your body!!!
Reflect and learn from this specific situation and identify ways to better FLEX your willpower in other situations. If you managed to maintain your composure give yourself a pat on the back. In the age of indulgence willpower is a virtue many no longer possess. Reward yourself with something that takes you closer to your goals! (Not a cupcake)
Go on. Try it. Exercise some mindfulness and FLEX your willpower. Eliminate your Achilles heel (for me its chocolate. And beer. All the beer) and feel less guilt and more svelte. Say poo poo to the Age of Indulgence and hello to your self-improved self! You can honestly apply this to anything. Right now I’m willing myself to write to you all on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Because I could be at a beer garden boozing it up but what I want it is to help YOU learn about the powerful FLEX you have inside you. Enjoy!
By Kyall Homberg
Kyall is a Pharmacist at the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, Australia as well as a self-employed personal trainer. Kyall spends his time at Crossfit Moreland and loves any strongman style exercises but burpees are by far his least favorite!
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