Will power. This is a term that gets thrown around in so many walks of life, but the instances I hear it most bandied around are around two intertwined topics: food and excercise.
Use your will power to resist eating that whole block of chocolate. Use that will power to make you get up at 5am to go to the gym before work.
C’mon, use your will power.
As you can see, I use hilarious names as well as great songs to encourage me to get up or to get ready for bed.
Well, hate to burst your bubble celebrity trainers, will power is not really that easy. Motivation, discipline and healthy habits- yes, these things exist, but it isn’t as simple as “use your will power.”
It took me a year to get in the habit of going to the gym and working out. It took me a year to make sure that I eat well and log my food. It took me a year to develop healthy training, sleeping and eating habits. A whole damn year, and even then, I slept in this morning- well laid in bed on my phone not wanting to get up (but eventually I did get to the gym.)
Bad habits and lack of motivation are tough things to break, but it can be done. My advice? Figure out your triggers! I can’t buy certain food and have it in the house, because I have no self control. If there is a packet of chips, a tub of Over the Moo caramel ice cream or a block of chocolate (hell, even a crusty loaf of bread) you can guarantee it won’t last more than a couple of hours.
Not something I would’ve been excited to eat a year ago- but now I love this stuff!
I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve wasted over the years on gym memberships that I’ve not used past the first few weeks or the amount of “work out at home” articles and videos of downloaded and not used past a few days. I’m inherently lazy when it comes to things I don’t enjoy. Actually, I’m a serial procrastinator so I figured out that accountability and fun is the way I can motivate myself.
I have two personal trainers; one for MMA and one for general strength and fitness. My strength and fitness trainer Tam keeps me accountable, with one weekly session and 3 programs a week. He also helped me tailor my nutrition. So just that accountability is enough to keep me motivated and also to give me direction, so when I get to the gym, I know exactly what I’m going to do when I walk in. My other PT, Lukaz, has made me fall in love with MMA and I also now attend his classes. The love for MMA along with my motivation to improve (because you know, consistently getting punched in the face is good motivation) makes me attend training. Keeps me on my grind.
Sometimes being punched in the face is motivating enough- Thanks Coach!
So what is my point exactly? Very few people have “will power”. If you want to change your habits, instead of beating yourself for not feeling motivated or for not having will power, figure out what makes you tick! Figure out your triggers and then try and find solutions. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help too. Coaches and PT’s, nutritionists and all those sort of people, even therapists and counsellors are there for a reason- even just finding people on YouTube or Instagram (or a blog- wink wink) can help you find your road to success.
I’m only a year into my long term plan to achieve my goals, but knowing what you want is the first step. Don’t buy into all this will power shit. You aren’t weak, you aren’t lazy- you may just need guidance so don’t be afraid to admit it.