'Will power is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets'
Modern society tests your willpower each and every day. Wherever we look there are adverts for sugary snacks, 2-for-1 deals on chocolate, and ever so tempting #foodstagram shared all over social media. During the week it is easy to avoid the gym with the excuse of being tired from work and come the weekend all you care about is some well deserved social down time. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the willpower to stay on track and motivate yourself to being healthy, strong and fit. The bottom line is this: willpower is easier than you think. If you want something enough, nothing will stand between you and that goal. It is simply a case of prioritising your own health and goals rather than taking the easy way out and reaching for that chocolate bar whilst watching another episode on Netflix every night. Yes, habits like this can be hard to break but if it's worth fighting for, it's worth working for. Remember: Nothing worth having comes easy and if it were easy everyone would have it.
If you are used to snacking on sugar all day in work and crashing on the sofa as soon as you get home, starting a new training programme or diet plan can really put your willpower to the ultimate test. Below are a few little tips that I have put together to help you retain that willpower:
1. Believe in Yourself -
A strong body comes paired with a strong mind. Strong self control and self belief will dramatically help with your motivation. One of the biggest forms of discouragement can be when your goals seem unobtainable or when you tell yourself you will never be able to look like/ lift as much/ run as fast as a certain person. Telling yourself that you can achieve your goals will help give you the willpower to do so!
2. Stay Prepared -
Take control of a situation before a problem even arises. Therefore, when something crops up to test your willpower you are already prepared to smash through temptation and continue to achieve your goal. For example if you know you're incredibly busy during the week do a huge food shop on a Sunday and then sticky note each item with they day you plan to eat it: bye bye take away on the way home. Always have a pre packed gym bag ready in your car so that you always have the option to go to the gym if you find you have a bit of extra time in your day. Being prepared means avoiding excuses!
3. Monitor your Progress and Review your Goals -
I keep a little black book next to my bed at all times. Every single night I start a new page in the book and write the workout that I have completed that day (including noting down rest days). By doing so, it keeps me on track and when I'm feeling discouraged I can look back to the same date a few months ago and actually see the progress I'm making. Visualizing your progress and goals in this way will make you so much more determined to carry on and see your goal through to the very end. Encouragement is the key to feeling good about ourselves, so tracking your workouts in this way will allow you to see the transformation you have made, serving as a positive mental reminder.
4. Reward Yourself -
Willpower is especially vital when first starting out on a new eating plan or training programme. At first, you will need your willpower to keep you motivated... over time new habits will form and it will simply become second nature to you. In order to really change yourself and your habits you have to want to change, you have to accept that it will be hard and you will struggle at times. To keep yourself on track in these difficult times set yourself smaller goals and when each is reached reward yourself. By allowing yourself little rewards your body won't feel deprived but make sure these are still infrequent and you must work hard to get them!