3 Tips for Maximizing Your Willpower


With the New Year in full-swing, there are plenty of people attempting to uphold those hefty resolutions they vowed to achieve. (Hence those January upsurges in gym memberships, and crazy-crowded yoga and spin classes.) Oftentimes, we begin the month with some pretty bold self-promises in mind, only to find ourselves slowly, and completely, giving up on our resolutions as February draws near. But making it over the February hurdle and sticking to your resolution past the first month of the year hardly needs to be a major ordeal. With a few quick tricks, you can boost your willpower and your chances of sticking to your goals for the new year. 

In the beginning, make only small changes.

The most common mistake people tend to commit is trying to change too much at once, such as attempting to overhaul eating habits, while simultaneously starting a workout regimen. Oftentimes, this will deplete a person’s willpower reserve quickly.

Instead, opt to challenge yourself by focusing on one goal. Focus on trying to eat healthier, first, for instance. This will increase the likelihood you’ll adhere to healthy habits.

To break the idea down even further, setting small (but, challenging) goals for yourself is key. For example, if you want to cut down the amount of sugary drinks you’re having every day, make this your first goal. Don’t worry about every small thing you eat in the beginning – just the drinks that contain refined sugars. And instead of quitting cold turkey, maybe just limit your sugary drinks to one a day, even if that means splitting a can of soda to enjoy half at lunch, and half at dinner. 

Prepare ahead of time.

Another important factor that influences our ability to adhere to weight loss or other health goals is our daily routine. After a long, tiresome workday, for example, it’s difficult to have the willpower to come home and cook. This results in choosing something quick, such as take-out, as opposed to healthy food.

Beat this frame of mind by cooking and preparing meals ahead of time. Sundays are great days for meal prep, and you can store meals in the fridge or freezer to simply reheat for dinner later on throughout the week.

This is a great idea for lunches, as well. Mason jar salads are ideal for taking to work. You can customize them with different fruits, vegetables, beans, and meats. If you’re worried it won’t fill you up, pack a couple tortillas, because every salad can be made into a wrap.

Think differently.

Your minds are very powerful and are the cornerstone of your health. Changing your mindset about health and wellness is the most important thing you can do to energize your willpower reserve. Understanding that one mistake won’t destroy your progress is essential.

That being said, the first thing you have to do is to love your body. Self-love is a hard thing for most people to do, and yet, it’s the foundation for creating a successful weight loss or fitness plan. This is because if you spend time criticizing the way you look, you can start to lose respect for yourself. But the most valuable thing to remember is that, no matter you do to your body, it does everything it can to keep you alive. No matter what you drink, eat, or smear onto your skin, your body fights to survive. It wants to be healthy. Once you realize this, and understand how amazing your body is, your willpower will increase immensely. Love yourself, and your body will love – or keep on loving – you back.

About Kaylia Zancan

KAYLIA ZANCAN is a freelance writer and ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. Zancan trains clients based on a holistic approach to fitness and wellness.