We all want to have the six-pack abs or the round firm butt. We all want to feel healthy and have more energy and be more focused at work.
If only intention alone, was enough to get the the results we wanted, life would be so much easier.
Unfortunately, we don’t do what is good for us; we do what is easy.
So even if you know what to do in the gym, or you know how to eat healthy; if you don’t do it, your body won’t change for the better.
This concept is why new year’s resolutions have such a high failure rate.
You wake up nice and early with the intention of going to the gym or to go for a run, and then the dreaded thought pops up in your mind: “sh*t, do I really want to go to the gym?”
Even before you answer that question, you’ve already lost the battle because most likely what happens next is a series of inner dialogue that tries to rationalize why it’s ok to skip this workout session; or maybe not skip, but reschedule.
You’re dialogue may go something like this: “I feel especially tired this morning, I don’t think I’ll get a good workout in anyways. Better to reschedule to lunch or after work when I’m more awake. I can squeeze it in before dinner.”
That’s usually all it takes to hit the snooze button and to return back to your pillow’s sweet embrace. Or if you decide to stay awake, you may begin your slow morning routine by browsing WeChat Moments or surfing the web for a bit, especially now with the extra padding of time you just re-budgeted.
But of course, you don’t actually make it to the gym later on the day because you didn’t factor in the high chance that you’ll be putting in a bit of overtime and that your energy level after work is none better than when you first woke up.
Or worse, your colleagues and friends start sending you WeChat messages in the late afternoon to go for happy hour drinks and the peer pressure is just too great to turn down.
After all, you’ve had a long day at work and it’s time to reward yourself.
This scenario plays itself over and over again, it may take different forms and with different people, but the end result is the same – no fit body, and no healthy lifestyle to show for even with your great intention to be a better you.
And so the months go by or maybe even years for some of you and you haven’t made any progress on your health and fitness goals. If anything, you’re probably even worse off now then before.
So why is it so hard to get your ducks in a row and to do what you ultimately want?
If given the opportunity to decide on the spot to choose a fit body and to sacrifice a bit of personal life to live a healthier lifestyle for 6 months, you’d say yes in a heartbeat! But when tasked with the day-to-day effort, you end up picking the wrong choice almost every time.
It just doesn’t make any sense!
The psychology behind this has been researched quite extensively.
Most experts would refer to this situation using the ego depletion theory which uses the analogy that your willpower is like a reservoir and is full in the beginning of the day, but gets sapped every time you have to make a decision to do something you don’t want to do. So by the end of the day, you make poorer choices because you have no more willpower left in the tank.
I, however, don’t believe this theory and recent studies have come out now that challenge this decade-old model.
To learn more about my take on this situation and how to turn it around to make it work for you, stay tuned for next week’s blog post as I conclude on this topic and charge you with some helpful tips on how to beat this willpower conundrum!
Hint: the solution is in the title!