When you’re solely relying on willpower to form a new habit, it’s hard to keep going for any length of time.
Sure, we can stick to a low-salt, low-fat, 1,000 calorie diet for a few weeks, or even a month and feel hungry the whole time, but eventually, the willpower to do so wears out.
And yes, we can do cardio 30 minutes a day, hating it the entire time…
Until we run out of willpower and any excuse to not do it anymore sounds like a good excuse.
And skipping one day turns into skipping weeks (or months) at a time.
But, what about doing things like getting the kids up and ready for school every morning, washing our face, brushing our teeth, or going to work every day?
They might not be our favorite things to do, either, and yet, we still do them on a daily basis without running out of willpower.
What makes those activities any different?
Well, those are things that have become habits.
They’re such a part of our everyday activities that we just do them without even thinking about it.
We don’t have to make a conscious decision every day to get the kids ready for school or take a shower or go to work.
We just do it. It’s a habit.
That’s the thing about habits….
When you begin a new activity that you want to become a regular, daily habit, it can take a lot of willpower to get it done day in and day out.
But, as you stick to it, it becomes easier and easier to do until you don’t even have to think about it anymore.
Once you become aware of this process, you’ll find it easier to stick it out.
Just knowing that we won’t always have to make such a huge effort in order to skip the dessert or drink more water or exercise regularly can be enough to keep you going.
It does get easier.
And once those new, good-for-you habits set in, they’ll be second nature.
No more willpower needed.
During the transition phase, though, we can use tools to make it easier.
I make to-do lists and set reminder alarms on my phone.
I also have accountability partners who help me stay motivated and cheer me on, as I do for them.
Every little bit helps, so make use of every tool at your disposal!
Even something simple like making little pre-prepared snacks that you can grab and go if you’re trying to eat healthier, or setting up your meals for the week can help.
Do whatever it takes to help keep your willpower strong and not get frustrated or overwhelmed until you’ve made the new behavior a true habit.
After that, it’ll be smooth sailing and you’ll have established a daily habit that will last a lifetime without the continuous effort!