Day 17 – It Isn’t About “Needing” Willpower

person holding two thumbs up behind the back

Yesterday you learned about the willpower, today we’re going to show you how to get rid of it! OK, don’t feel puzzled – not actually to get rid of it, it’s more to like to learn how to get past it.

But our yesterday’s talk wasn’t for nothing – strong willpower is a fantastic thing, and you will use it to build new productive habits and healthy lifestyle, but our ultimate goal is to get to the point where you won’t be needing willpower anymore. You’ll learn how to see the willpower as a tool, not as a permanent solution to your problems.

The only problem with willpower is that it provides you with intensive energy in a small portion of time. And, as it’s a temporary energy boost, you cannot always rely on willpower – if you use your willpower often, you’ll quickly burn out.

So today we will encourage you to use the willpower as a means for preparing the ground for habits you want to implement.

In the first week of this course you already used this method – remember the first day, when you made the plan, you were supposed to clean the fridge and start living healthier. For those actions you needed some energy and you did it fine. But, will you be using willpower every day  during this course? Of course not.

Beyond the Willpower

The most common problem with weight loss is maintaining your habits until you reach the desired goal – there are many examples of people who start with a good plan and some kind of diet and execute it well… for the first two or three weeks. Then they stop and go back to the unhealthy eating and sedentary way of life.

Why do they stop? Because they used willpower exclusively, which is a typical mistake in the weight loss game. Instead, use the willpower until you can rely on well based, solid habits.

You Don’t Need the Willpower

When you stick to your plan for one or two weeks, you then enter a different territory – from this point on you start to crave for maintaining the stuff you have already achieved. Clean your fridge – check, eat healthier – check, do the exercises every day – check. To reach this level you used willpower, but to maintain it you don’t need willpower. You need habits.

And, how to gain habits for the actions you needed so much energy for (if you use the willpower all the time)? Simply – by learning to love these actions. That’s the key: if you love what you do, whatever it is, you don’t need additional energy to do it, so you don’t need willpower. Not anymore.

And here’s what makes things a bit more complicated: how to love something you find hard to do regularly?

Lifestyle Over Willpower

woman happy with healthy food purhcased in the store

Habits are the best solution if you want to exclude willpower from particular activities. Habits are a kind of routine. If you do something on a daily basis at some point it will become routine for you – and routine is good, because when you do your routine tasks you need less energy.

Let’s say your plan is to lose 10 pounds. You strictly followed the first two weeks of this course and you see some results. You got rid of some fast food and you tried new healthier ingredients every day. As the time passes you notice a slight change in your behavior – you don’t need as much energy to avoid junk food, temptation to eat a quick snack before bed is less strong than before. Also, healthy food becomes more delicious, its flavor is more powerful.

This happens when your daily actions become routines. Think of it like this: do you need willpower to breathe? Of course not, breathing is a stable habit and you do it unconsciously.
When your habits of healthy eating and exercising become strong habits – you’ll do them effortlessly. And that’s the goal.

How to make a strong habit from your healthy actions? Here are two important tips:

1. Do the important things as early as you can.

If you exercise, do it in the morning. When you do things when you have more energy, they will be easier to do. Also, you should not think about how hard it is. Just do it, concentrate on what you’re doing and after a few weeks you’ll notice that these actions have become normal for you. After a few months you will be doing them effortlessly.

2. Divide the grand plan into small pieces.

Your ultimate goal is to lose weight. Part of that plan is to eat healthy, exercise daily etc. So, you should make a daily plan and stick to it. Use A, B, C technique – write down more important things first (letter A), and then less important things (B, C…).

So, our ultimate goal is to love what we do. Not only because of the weight loss – you will lose weight, but that will be only the consequence of the actions you love: healthy eating and exercising. Take a deep breath and visualize how happy you are with your new lifestyle.

Oh, you don’t need to visualize anymore? Well, that’s good news! 🙂

Tomorrow we will be dealing with an issue that may be demotivating some of you – not seeing a loss. Spoiler alert: it’s normal. 😉