Will power is a muscle! All day we are forced to make choices, and we can only make so many choices before our will power muscle fatigues. When we overuse the will power muscle, it becomes harder and harder to make optimal choices. We are forced to make decisions at work, how to best take care of our kids, whether we can bite our lip through another one of Aarons horrible jokes, what classes to take next quarter, and if we should go and study groups, and the list goes on and on.
For things like going to bed on time, eating healthy, and working out, it’s best to make the decisions when our mind is fresh, and then stick with these decisions. This means telling ourselves what the game plan is, before our will power muscle gets tired, and then sticking to that plan.
If the choice has already been made, we can just go along with what we had previously decided, because that’s the path of least resistance. If we have to make “game time decisions,” the path of least resistance often leads to choices that are not the best for the goals that we are trying to accomplish.
If it comes dinner time, and we are stressed out, and we don’t have any healthy choices available for us, more often than not we’re going to reach for something of the sub optimal variety. If we have already made the choice to have healthy dinner prepared, or we have a meal service delivered food (Territory delivers right here to Amity, Trifecta delvers to your house) that is good for us, the path of least resistance is going to be a healthy one. If we have no plan, usually the easiest thing to grab is not going to be a healthy choice.
If you think to yourself, I’ll see how I feel after work and maybe I’ll go into the gym, you will very often find a 530 excuse. If you tell yourself, I’m going to finish work by 5 PM, so I have enough time to get to the gym by 530 no matter what, the decision has been made and it is easier to stick to, even after a long day of having to make decisions when will power is depleted.
Most of us have heard the quote, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This rings true for all aspects of your health and well-being. If you’re failing to plan for healthy meals, you’re most likely not going to be eating healthy the majority of the time. If you don’t have a hard set bedtime, there are going to be many nights that you stay up too late, and not allow yourself enough time to sleep.
Don’t let your tired will power muscle hold you back. Make the decision to have healthy choices available when your mind is fresh, and stick to the game plan, whether this means food prepping, having meal delivery services, or ordering healthy food in advance.
Mark the time off in your calendar when you’re going to come into the gym, and move all your other appointments around that.
Decide how much sleep you need every night, reverse engineer from the time you have to get up, and figure out which time you need to go to bed every night in order to get enough sleep. Set an alarm if you need to, and be in bed at that time every night. A wise Doctor once told me, “having a plan, creating a routine and sticking to it is a really rewarding feeling. Nothing is more motivating than accomplishing a task you chose and set for yourself on your own terms.”
If you think you could benefit by having help on how to set yourself up to make better choices that will help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals, please reach out. Let’s sit down and go over ways to set you up for success.