You know those people that seem to have will power of steel? The ones who don’t seem tempted by the same things that the rest of us are? They go to a party and don’t even notice that there’s cake on the table, while the rest of us are left drooling, trying to hold ourselves back from devouring the whole thing. Why is it that will power is so difficult for some of us, and for others, it seems to come naturally?
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Before we tackle any of those questions, we first have to define “will power.” Will power is having the strength or resolve to carry out your own desires, plans and goals; it’s the desire to make something happen—to ignore all obstacles and just get it done.
Notice I did not mention anything about ability in this definition. Will power has nothing to do with your circumstances; it has nothing to do with having the “right” genes, job or education. Will power has nothing to do with living in the right neighborhood or knowing the right people. And this is good news! Because it means will power is simply a habit, and it’s a habit you can learn and master!
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Will power is incredibly effective in helping you achieve all of your goals, especially those pertaining to your health and fitness this time of year with all of the holiday treats and temptations around. So here are five steps for developing the will power you need to lose weight and maintain it.
1. Clearly define what you want. Do you want to lose 10 percent of your body fat? Five pounds? Tone up? What is it that you want to achieve and when do you want to achieve it by? Define this without ambiguity.
2. Do your research. What do you need to do to achieve this goal? What’s involved? If you don’t do some research and figure out what it takes, you’ll never know if you have the power, strength and energy to follow through. You need a plan.
3. Decide to make it happen. Once you have a goal and a plan, you simply have to decide that come hell or high water, you’re going to make it happen. Decide now you have the resolve to follow through.
4. Play offense. The funny thing about people with will power is that they rarely have to exercise it. And this is because they simply don’t put themselves in those types of situations. Avoid situations that will tempt you, and if you can’t, have a plan in place so you’re on the offense, not the defense. For example, if you’re going to a party and are worried about overindulging, try having some protein beforehand to keep your belly full, so you’re not tempted by the treats. You’ll be prepared and have a plan of attack ahead of time.
5. Fix your boat before the storm hits. You know the calm before the storm? Everything seems OK and under control., But then your will power is challenged. For instance, you might feel OK about your weight now, but the holidays are approaching and you’re worried about gaining weight. Don’t wait until after the fact. Take care of it now; fix your boat before the storm. Get on a program that will help you with your health and fitness now so that you’re prepared to succeed.