Willpower is a funny thing. It only takes us so far before life happens. We have a fight with our spouse, feel stressed by an important deadline at work, get tired of hearing the kids argue, or are unable to pay a bill and next thing you know…we cave to temptation and are easily swayed away from our goals.
The first step to sticking with diet and exercise goals is to stop relying on your willpower alone. You won’t get to where you want to go unless you take a different approach. What I recommend is to consider WHY you want to achieve your goals and HOW you want to feel when you achieve them. This is your primary motivation. For example; Do you want to feel lighter and have more energy to go on family hikes or play with the kids? Do you want to sleep better so you have more patience and a clearer head at work? Reflect on the specifics of HOW you want to feel each day and WHY your goals are important to you.
When you’re tempted to fall off the proverbial wagon, remember your WHY.
The second step is to make whatever exercise you’re doing or foods you’re eating pleasurable. If you hate going to the gym…stop going. Yes…you heard that right! Stop going. Find an exercise that you enjoy and a friend or buddy to do it with. When I come home in the evenings often I’ll see some of the neighbors dancing in their garage. It looks like fun! Find an activity you LOVE to do…a friend to do it with and then put it on the calendar. If it’s not scheduled…it won’t happen.
If you’re trying to force yourself to eat foods that you’ve heard are good for you…but don’t like them. Stop! Get an inspiring new cookbook, join a clean eating group, take a cooking lesson and make a pact with yourself to only eat foods that are delicious AND healthy. No amount of willpower will entice you into choking down something you find disgusting.
Lastly, surround yourself with positive support. Spend time with people who’re also focused on achieving the same goals or reach out to a trainer or coach who can help you.