Hi, friends! I’ve got a super awesome guest post to share with you today! My friend, Jessie Lucas, teaches women how to change their relationship with exercise so they can discover an energetic life with results they love. Today she’s sharing her best tips on what to do when you lose your willpower, which is totally something we all struggle with from time to time. Keep reading to find out what the driving force is that can keep you going!
It’s mid January. Some of you have made New Years resolutions to be healthier, to exercise, eat right, or make more time for self-care. You know you should exercise. You have big plans for this year in your personal and professional life and you know that a healthier body will support you in all areas of your life. You know that you will be happier and more productive with a healthy body. And then reality struck. Maybe you also realized that January, for all intents and purposes is a lot like December, or that this January is much like one’s before. You have great intentions, you know you want to feel healthier, more fit and energized. So what happens?
Certain times in our life conjure up higher amounts of willpower. The beginning of a new year is one of these times. When you have a health crisis, or witness someone you love go through one, or it could be a particular birthday, or setting a particular goal, whatever the trigger is, it gives you that boost we need to poke your head above the clouds of your day to day life, tap into your motivation, and commit to doing something.
You say, this is the year I will (fill in the blank).
Then about two weeks later you notice how difficult it is, or that it doesn’t look or feel like you thought it would, or should. Some life event happens to throw you off track, your schedule gets busy, you get a cold and decide rest is best, a myriad of occurrences show up to pull you away from your commitment to your new healthy life.
This is pretty standard routine for routine re-setting.
Of course these things occur, you haven’t created a new habit yet, so the path is unfamiliar, there are bumps in the road. So what exactly is that bit of magic that sets you back on the course of your choice and keeps you there, rather than throwing you back into your old habits?
Well, some say it is willpower. There is definitely something to that.
According to Merriam-Webster will power is “the ability to control yourself : strong determination that allows you to do something difficult (such as to lose weight or quit smoking)”.
Yes, making a change, however subtle or significant usually takes making a definite decision, it takes control and determination. The thing is, control is usually a fallacy, and determination is so easily misguided. The potency of control depends on where it is coming from. If it is mind over matter stuff, it sometimes can work for you, but too often the matter of your body, your being simply does not comply with the mind. Your mind is malleable, which means it is capable of change, but also means that it can be easily persuaded to go back to your old ways, that they were just find, and in fact comfortable in their familiarity.
Willpower can be a helpful tool. It can be a necessary change agent. However it usually isn’t enough. So what happens when willpower isn’t enough, and you do still deeply crave changing your life/health for the better? You need that thing that is just beyond willpower…
I just gave you a hint. It has to be a craving. It has to be a driving force. If it is just mental manipulation it will likely fall away. The good news is you can usually get to the visceral sense of craving, driving force, deep desire if you breathe enough attention and awareness into the situation.
Your resolution may start as an idea, probably a good idea. If you are truly determined to stick with it, keep turning towards your deeper why. Peel through your own layers to find out what gave you this idea, what is pulling you towards it, what is the carrot at the end of your stick?
There is a practice called the 5 whys. This process helps you get to the root of the situation. Basically for (at least) 5 layers, you ask yourself why. So lets say your goal is to “get in shape”. Ask yourself why. Whatever your answer is, ask yourself why. Lets say you answer, “so I can have more energy.” Well, why? Maybe you say, “so I can keep up with my kids.” Again, why? “Because I want to experience more joy with my family.” Why? “Because I truly believe we are meant to experience happiness together.” Why….
You get the point.
When you keep asking why, you see it isn’t really about a flat stomach, or forcing yourself into some fitness routine that you don’t love. It is about some driving force, some deeper belief, a craving. THIS is what will keep you going when willpower takes a vacation.
Life can be busy. There is a lot to pay attention to you. If you make one New Years resolution, and personally I like to set strong intentions all year long, let it be to pay closer attention to you, to your whys. These will give you the inspiration and information you need to stay on track to your happiest and healthiest year yet. Its not too late!
What are your intentions for 2015? And what are some of your whys?
In my work at Vivacious Mama I help my clients transform their lives by changing their relationship with exercise. I am an exercise coach. I help my clients develop their inner and outer strength by discovering their own unique path to their healthiest body and happiest life. As a personal trainer and yoga instructor I blend the mindful movement world with the science of fitness to help my clients achieve lasting results.
I would love to invite you to experience some of this for yourself. I know you are up to big things this year and it is not to late to get your body on board!
I am teaching a free online course called “Make Exercise No Sweat 2015” from January 22-Feb 3. (Don’t worry if you’re late to the party, I’ll catch you up!!!)
If you know you need to exercise but don’t like it or can’t find the time…
If you want more energy and are you ready to feel a real satisfaction with your body and your life…
Then please join me for this FREE experiential course.
For class details and to register go to http://bit.ly/nosweat2015events
I can’t wait to share more with you!
Jessie Lucas is a health and fitness expert and the founder of jessielucas.com, where she teaches women how to change their relationship with exercise so they can discover an energetic life with results they love. Specializing in techniques for energy flow and body alignment, she helps you create a blueprint for healthy living.
As a health coach, yoga instructor, personal trainer, bodyworker, mom, lover of dance, sparkles, fresh air, and human kindness,and with a Master’s degree in Health Arts & Science, she has spent over 10 years helping women learn to move their bodies to release stress and become fully present in their lives.