Is it really willpower you need?

How many of us try again and again to achieve a certain life goal only to fail? I hear it all the time, from clients and friends, that they are simply lacking motivation. Trust me, I say the same thing from time to time. Maybe it is your inability to lose weight. Possibly you have a hard time sticking to a budget. Or you can’t seem to find the motivation to delegate more at work. We try to achieve something and then when we fail, we just beat ourselves up. Why couldn’t I have more willpower? Why can’t I just get up and go to the gym? Why can’t I stop eating all that sugar? The list goes on and on. There have been some studies at Harvard Graduate school of Education that state it has nothing to do with willpower at all. I tell this to my clients all the time, that typically the reason why they behave a certain way has very little to do with the obvious reason on the surface. It isn’t just willpower or the fact that they continue to pick an unhealthy relationship, you always have to peel away layers and look below the surface. Once you get to the real reasons why you sabotage yourself or your life goals, you can begin to move forward. I am going to offer some questions you can ask yourself that will steer you in the right direction. Take each question slowly and try your best to get to the bottom of each goal. After you answer the third tip, start small while adding in positive behaviors that will align with your goal.

1. Pick a life goal
     Get out a sheet of paper and write down a goal that comes to mind that would improve your life. Losing thirty pounds? Improving your eating habits? Attracting a healthy life partner? Pick something that you have thought about or worked on in the past. Something that would dramatically improve the quality of your life.
2. Do you sabotage?
     Next to your goal, write down how you consistently sabotage this goal. Let’s assume losing weight was your goal. You may write down that you go out to eat with your friends every week. Maybe you go to bed too late and are therefore too tired to wake up early and work out. Or you watch too much TV instead of getting out with your spouse or friend for a walk.
3. What if you stopped that behavior?
    What if you stopped that behavior that was sabotaging your goals? Write this next to your answer to number two. Let’s say one of your behaviors was that you go out to eat with your friends every week. What if  you stopped that behavior? Maybe you would feel lonely and without friends. Maybe you would need to focus solely on yourself and your own needs and that frightens you. Maybe you would need to start fending for yourself, while teaching yourself how to cook in a healthy way and you are unsure about this.

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