I just don’t have the willpower
Willpower, especially lack of it, is something I hear about a LOT! It’s possibly the most common reason people give for not being able to reach their weight/healthy eating goals.
I think it’s time to forget about willpower and your supposed lack of it. Instead, focus on building self-motivation.
If you were to look up the meanings of ‘willpower’ & ‘motivation’, they pretty much mean the same thing. However I think the word ‘willpower’ is loaded for a lot of people, especially when they’ve been dieting forever. Willpower seems particularly associated with dieting, depriving or punishing yourself. There’s a sense of having to ‘stick it out’ until an end point. It seems pretty superficial to me.
Whereas motivation is deeper somehow. It’s about really connecting to WHY you want to achieve your goals or make changes. This is why I think it’s much more helpful to look at building your self-motivation. It’s a skill that will help you make changes that are more likely to become habits for life.
We ALL have the ability to motivate ourselves. Motivation is simply our reason for doing something.
There is a reason behind everything that you do. You brush your teeth, so you have that nice fresh minty feeling in your mouth and to avoid needing fillings. Going to work even if you hate it, means you get paid and can pay your bills.
When you’re trying to eat better, lose weight or get fitter it can be hard to motivate yourself in the short term as the results take time to show up. Also the number on the scales or the clothes label means nothing on it’s own for most people. It’s just a number, you have to look at what it means for you. Or figure out a target/goal that you find more inspiring for you.
Check out my tips for building your self-motivation:
1 – Always start with getting clear on your target.
What’s your goal? Do you know where you want to be? You need to be clear on what you want to achieve, what you’re aiming for, so you can figure out why. So be specific about what you want to change and how will you know you’re there? Of course it doesn’t have to be a weight-loss target, it could be about feeling in control of your eating or stopping the obsession with dieting & weight-loss.
What do YOU want to achieve?
2 – Get clear on your reasons WHY you want to be there.
Can you write down all the benefits of you reaching your target? List as many incentives/benefits as possible. Because the more reasons you have to get to your target, the more motivated you will feel. Be as specific as you can. Rather than just saying you want to eat healthier to improve your health; pinpoint what it is you want to improve about your health. Make sure your reasons have as much meaning as possible for you – they need to be YOUR reasons, not someone else’s reasons. Your reasons will drive you much more than this idea of ‘willpower’.
Dig deep and weigh-up the benefits of staying the same, versus the benefits of changing. Ask yourself how will life be better in the day-to-day if you make changes. Then compare it to how life is hard now in the day-to-day. This should help you come up with some really specific reasons to help drive you.
3 – Remind yourself of your reason why list daily.
It’s easy to forget in the day-to-day what you’re trying to achieve. Human beings are creatures of habit, we like things to be comfortable and easy. It’s easy to keep doing what you’ve always done. What we need to do to change our habits long-term, is interrupt the usual pattern. You can help yourself do this by reminding yourself what you’re trying to achieve and why, every day. Have your list of reasons why, handy or visible somewhere to remind you.
Even if you feel motivated now, practice reminding yourself ready for those harder days. Making changes is hard, don’t wait till times get tough, the more you practice reminding yourself now, the easier you’ll find it on the harder days.
4 – Be prepared for the tough times with self-awareness.
Think about what you say to yourself at times when you struggle; what goes through your mind? Be prepared in advance. How could you talk back to that voice at the back of your head telling you it’s too hard or you can’t do it? Ask yourself why is it hard – what’s keeping you stuck there? Remind yourself what you’re doing it for; tune into your ‘why’, get it to drive you. Remember it’s about helping you to keep up the changes most of the time – you don’t have to do this perfectly 100% of the time.
If you’re still finding it too hard, maybe you’re trying to change too much in one go? Like I said, changing habits is hard! Pick one tweak at a time and build up new habits gradually.
What if I don’t have many reasons on my list?
If you can’t think of any reasons why you want to reach your goal then maybe you’re not ready to change. Or maybe your goal is just not really that important to you. And that is just fine! It’s ok if you don’t actually want to change. You don’t need to do something just coz you ‘ought’ to. Sometimes the more we try to force something the harder it becomes. Maybe you need to think of a goal/target that is more important to you?
Sometimes things just slot into place in their own time. Sometimes we need to focus on something else in our life first.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what is right for you to do. It’s your life right?
Need help to ditch dieting forever?
Want to eat normally again AND lose weight healthily? While still enjoying the cake & chocolate? Hell yes!
I will help you ditch dieting forever, either with my 1-2-1 support. Or if you prefer to work independently, you will learn all the skills I teach my 1-2-1 clients, on my ‘No More Diets’ online course.
My Weekly Round-up! AKA; what I’ve been up to recently…
- Tea of the week has been Lady Grey – yummy yum and possibly a few second coffees due to a few crappy night’s sleep!
- It was the last session of Aerial Hoop last week, I’ve loved it so much, but I couldn’t sign-up for the next course. Hoping to be able to do it again sometime and one day I’m going to get my own at home (once we figure out where we can put it!).
- I’ve been trying to get back into doing my morning exercises this week. It was so easy to slip out of the habit of doing them, but I’ve managed to do them 3x this week and I’m aiming for the same or more next week (I’ll let you know how I get on!)
- Did I mention our little family challenge; ’22 Hills in 2022′? We walked up our 5th hill at the weekend, The Lawley. It’s a pretty exposed hill, so I was worried it’d be a bit scary at the top for Genevieve if it was windy. We were really lucky though the weather was glorious and we sat at the top for a picnic. Genevieve did amazing, walking all the way up & over the hill and all the way back round to where we’d parked the car. She didn’t ask to be carried once!
- We watched ‘Turning Red’ at the weekend and I absolutely loved the message I got from it! Never be afraid to show your inner red panda – always be yourself, no matter what others expect from you – fantastic!
- Bird Nerd Report: I saw a heron flying past the other day. Then a little further down the brook I saw a fox, just casually stroll down for a drink then wandered along the other side of the brook from me. I know it’s not a bird, but it was amazing, I just had to share! While I was watching foxy drinking from the brook I saw a kingfisher fly past about three times. Then as if that wasn’t enough I saw another kingfisher flying in and out of a hole in the bank on the other side of the brook. At one point it sat on a branch long enough for me to admire it’s beautiful colours really clearly. I was really happy to see a few nuthatches too as I haven’t seen them down that way in over a year!