How To Protect Your 

Willpower

Think of all the amazing things we could achieve, if we had bulletproof willpower with us throughout.

We could stop spending and save money for the deposit on that house, or buy that dream car or visit all the places in the world we've wanted to experience.

We could achieve almost any physical goal we set our sights on through the training required to do so.

We could practically get almost anything we wanted done in a day by waking up early and saying no to that extra hour in bed.

More to the point, we could get to a point where we're so happy with how our bodies looked and experience the amazing health benefits that come with it. 

We wouldn't be sidetracked or distracted by short term pleasures or rewards. We would be able to constantly remind ourselves of the longer term vision and make decisions based solely on what will most likely lead us to that point.

It's a nice idea. However, we're human. So, it's probably going to remain just that, a nice idea. 

However that doesn't mean we can't protect it. 

Whilst it might not be indestructible and certainly not limitless, we all have the potential to possess enough of it, to get us to our goals. 

Getting healthier and losing unwanted body fat is no exception. Every single one of us, including you, has the potential to do what's needed to become healthier, fitter, more confident, and ultimately happier in yourself.

What's common, and has been the case for myself in the past, is overlooking the needless stretching of our resources. In other words, failing to acknowledge the effect that our surroundings has on our ability to successfully use our willpower. 

A Story About A Big Mac

Let me digress slightly, to a point in time where I was just starting to take losing weight seriously, back in 2010.

My friend and I had this strange obsession with trying to flex our willpower. Every night, after the gym, we'd hit the Mcdonalds drive through and buy 2 burgers and 2 milkshakes. 

We'd drive around for 10-15 minutes with the smell filling the car and the temptation just to shove them in our mouths rising by the second. After a short while, we'd simply throw them away.

A waste of food. A waste of money. A massive waste of time. 

Furthermore, a huge waste of willpower. 

There is a sense of achievement when we successfully say no or yes to something, when we feel our natural instincts would have been to opt for the "easier" option. The one that would have provided such short term relief or pleasure.

However, when there's no real need, it can actually be a waste. 

Using all the self control to say no to a Big Mac that was screaming to be eaten, only used valuable energy that could have been used later on when it was a situation that was our of my control. 

For what it's worth, flexing my willpower in this way didn't really have the desired affect anyways, as throughout the week I'd be presented with a plateful of biscuits and chocolates by whatever lovely old persons house I was working in. 

Like with most things, I believe willpower has a shelf life, and mine expired.

Protect It Like You Protect Your Phone Data

There are so many situations where we have little to no control of what's around us. The influence we have on our surroundings can at times, be zero.

There are also plenty where we probably have more control than we realise. 

The best way I've found to ensure you have all the willpower your need to succeed? 

Treat it like phone data. 

Most of us are quick enough to ask an employee at a restaurant or bar for the wifi code. I certainly am. 

Maybe I've got a pretty crappy deal on my phone, but my data is limited. Kind of like how my willpower is limited. 

The reason I want to be on a Wifi network whenever it's available, is to protect that data. 

If we see willpower as limited in the same way, we can start to understand how precious it really is, and isn't something we should needlessly be flaunting, especially not when it's not really required.

How often do we place ourselves in a situation where we are needlessly pushing the limits of our willpower? 

How often do we eat into our data when there is Wifi readily available should we ask? 

There are so many examples I can use. 

Take an attempt to cut back on alcohol. Sitting in a bar most weekends is only going to chip away at that willpower. Putting the idea forward that you and your friends or family perhaps do something that doesn't involve the bar, is one way of putting your influence to use. Almost like asking for the Wifi code.

Maybe you're trying to cut back on snacking all day in an office environment full of biscuits & other treats. A situation that will eat away at your willpower (aka, data), eventually. 

As I said, we're only human! 

There are a number of ways you can stamp your influence on your surroundings. 

You could ask for there to be healthier options put out. 

You could provide your own. 

You could voluntarily and frequently remove yourself from the situation as to protect that willpower. (Ok this one is probably more difficult, we have jobs to do!)

My point is, is that we can almost always influence our surroundings to some extent. We just need to notice when that action is required.

In other words, when we're aware that any situation we find ourselves in is desperately using up our willpower, we can realise that we have options. 

There is more often than not always Wifi available. Whilst it's obviously never as clear cut as simply using willpower or not using it, we know we certainly have the ability to at least reduce the intensity at which we're burning through it.

One Last Thing..

As I've mentioned a few times, we are human at the end of the day. So we should never feel guilty or that somehow we have failed when "giving in" to the short term reliefs. 

This post wasn't designed to turn you into a robot with machine like decision making. 

The purpose of this post was to help bring awareness to all the areas and things going on that could be playing a major role in hindering your chances are reaching your goals. 

The short term pleasure option sometimes is the best option. Not always, but it has it's moment. 

At the end of it all, when it comes to fat loss and the decision making involved, it can help to see things as either moving you forwards, or moving your backwards. 

None of which are essentially bad. However as long as we keep the longer term vision in mind, and try to ensure that we use our willpower when needed, we can over the course be taking more steps forwards than back. 

As long we we're doing that, we'll get there.