Willpower is a fickle, slippery beast. It seems the more you try to hold on to it, the more it squirms and wiggles its way out of your grasp. The truth is that we all have willpower, but some of us are better able to access it when it is most needed.
Willpower takes energy, both the emotional kind and the physical (it actually depletes glucose levels in the brain). As a result of this energy expenditure, we only have so much willpower to utilize on a daily basis. You can plan ahead to set yourself up for success by limiting the times that your willpower will need to be accessed. We can generally resist temptation for a while, but can only hold off for so long.
When it comes to diet, do not keep junk foods in the home. Or, if you must keep these enticing treats around, keep them out of sight. This will keep your willpower from being activated on a frequent basis and leave it for when it is really needed.
How else can you structure your immediate environment to reduce the strain on your willpower?
It’s difficult not to keep junk food at home because I’m living with my family and a 17 year old brother who enjoy their junk food even though I often can’t resist its pull 😦
That is difficult. I suggest moving the food to an area that is “off limits” for you while you’re not hungry and not craving anything. Then, it’s at least out of your sight when you’re not as rational. It’s amazing how much even a small barrier of a door or cover gives us time to pause and reflect before we mindlessly grab the food.
One of my mindless ones is the chocolate bowl in the conference room at school. My promise to myself this year? I will not even enter the room unless I have to. It’s easier to use willpower to not step through a door than it is to use it to not grab that piece of chocolate right in front of me.
That’s a really great idea about not entering the room! I’ll definitely have to try something like that 🙂