What exactly is willpower?
Willpower is energetic determination, self-discipline and self-control.
Willpower is going to the gym and working hard to accomplish your goals, despite the fact you’d rather join your friends at the pub; it’s renouncing your daily ration of chocolate, in order to reach your weight loss goal.
Willpower is making a decision to forgo instant gratification, in order to achieve what you want most in the long term.
Willpower, like any muscle of the body, responds to stimuli. Just as bicep curls increase the strength of the biceps, exercising your willpower will result in it becoming stronger. The more you practice self-discipline and control, the easier these behaviours will become, and the less likely you will be to self-sabotage your efforts.
Now, I’m the first to admit that my willpower and self-discipline could use a good workout, and lately I’ve found myself doing just that.
Dieting is not something I usually do. My philosophy is “everything in moderation” and I feel it is most important to find a balance between what you enjoy, and what your body needs. That said, I’m currently training to compete in a fitness modelling competition and achieving my goal requires rigorous training, often twice a day, and a very strict diet.
I have found myself engaging in a particularly strange behaviour for someone who is following such an austere dietary regime. Baking.
I have been baking cakes, cookies, biscuits, muffins..scrumptiously sweet, fat and sugar laden forbidden delights (much to the delight of my colleagues) that, once baked, I dare not lay a finger on. Even more bizarre than the behaviour itself, is the fact that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it.
I’m no psychologist, but my theory is that I’m enjoying testing my willpower and in turn, strengthening it. If I can bake tray after tray of soft, chewy chocolate-chip cookies and light fluffy vanilla sponge cakes with lashings of delectable butter-cream frosting without even licking a spoon; I can do anything, right?!
Add daily willpower workouts to your routine and improve your health and lifestyle. Cruise right past the drive-through and prepare a healthy meal at home; turn the television off and get an extra hour of sleep; push through an extra 5 minutes on your next run; have one sugar in your coffee instead of two, or meet with friends for a gym session or long walk instead of a glass of wine.
You will thank yourself!