Willpower : How To Develop It


WILLPOWER: Are You Born With It?

Why do some people seem to have perfect self-control while others bask in the debauchery that life can offer? Oh, let’s not forget about the yo-yo people who, for a few months, give their souls for something and then, 6 months later, need “a break.”

It almost seems to many that willpower is as mystical as a genie in a lamp granting you three wishes is real.

Over 19 years as a health and fitness coach, I have found that everyone wants the best for themselves. Only some people show up and throw down a few hundred bucks each month, only to fail at what they are paying for.

Think of willpower as a muscle that grows stronger or weaker depending on how much you exercise it.

Willpower, though, also ties into your decisions every day. Here is one example I can think of: why do you usually blow your diet at night? It is likely from the exhaustion of all the daily decisions you might have to make for yourself.

In all the cool kid articles I read about human psychology, they say we humans make roughly 10,000 decisions a day. I know in my head this is 100% true. I am usually always jumping from cloud to cloud in my head every day. By the end of the day, after coaching clients, working clients out, training myself, and tending to my family, I am exhausted at night. I can also tell you with 100% certainty that if I do not plan my meals out ahead of time, I will be more prone to failing by grabbing something that will make me feel better.

Enter – The subtle art of planning.

Leveraging your willpower will help you put yourself in a position to not lose. I cannot stress enough that you have to plan to win. Winning does not reward you for showing up. It requires effort. And on some days, a lot of it to keep going.

A lot of growing up for me was found in learning to love the process of winning or fuck, just wanting better for myself. Each trip around the sun brings new decisions caused by decisions over the years or years before.

As I have grown as a person and professionally, much of the growth is due to better planning in some areas of my life that needed to be simplified to get more time back.

When I feel bogged down, confined, or not as free as I like to feel, then I begin offloading things, aka useless shit that makes me feel anxious. By stopping for a minute and recognizing I have absolutely zero reasons to be tightly wound, I can examine what is up with myself.

If there is one good thing getting older does for you is you give less shit with everything, but you don’t at the same time. I still kinda care what people think of me, but I kinda don’t at the same time. It is just pure and total contradiction at all times, but you can see the things that bother you more than ever.

In my line of work as a health and fitness coach, I get to navigate a lot of different personalities that I work with. This translates to many conversations over time about willpower, planning, and failure. What is interesting is everyone hates failing, but not many do anything to prevent it.

I have a friend who has willpower in some areas that blow me away. He could pinch a quarter till it turned into a dollar. Holes in shirts, jeans with paint stains from art classes, none of the usual shit matters in terms of materialism. His willpower to save is impressive, and his planning for the wealth he amasses is even better.

However, if you asked him how he did in training for his upcoming Iron Man, you would see where his willpower and planning could be better. If you dig deeper into why, you will see he takes on too many things.

Rather than as new things come into his ether manage to place old things on set it and forget it mode, he goes for the whole “fuck it, what’s one more thing.”

The emotional response from just one more thing accepted slowly over time is found one day on the side of the interstate while you beat the absolute shit out of your dashboard after being cut off for the 18th time in 5 miles. Totally speaking from experience with that one, but eventually, we are swimming in shit to do if we do not offload things.

Recently, this happened to me when I found myself at the end of a joint, exhaling my anxious mind. Being honest here, but battling anxiety isn’t easy. It really sucks because it is like a virus; you can’t see it coming at you before it attacks you. Life comes at you hard.

I began realizing every time my anxiety would give me the stone-cold stunner out of nowhere, it was usually tied to having too many things to think about daily. I needed to make a few areas of my life, just like driving to work, wondering rather unceasingly how UI made it safe and sounded, struggling to remember anything.

There were two areas on my immediate radar I could give two shits less about. First up, I do not post the food I eat on my social media because it is boring as hell. Nutrition was one area I chose to set it and forget it. Another area was yard work. I stuck the kids with that shit as I set and forgot that too.

So how do you make your partner cook all your food for you while portioning out, along with making your kids charitable employees? Well, it would be wrong for me to give you that advice, but I can give you a closing thought rather than babble on more.

How To Build Willpower?

Every day, you have two choices ahead of you: to win it or lose it. If you lose enough days in a row, you have to ask yourself if you are a loser or if you really want what you say you want? Planning, decisions, and willpower are three things you can work on daily to help you stop identifying as a loser and start believing in the winner you can and should become.

I talk about my willpower as I learned to walk again beating a brittle bone disease. You can read about my story too here.

Here is a link to my IG for more content.

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