Why relying on willpower creates bigger problems...
For me, it starts like this. I push harder, work longer hours, and sleep less for a few weeks. My fatigue starts me down the road of snacking (read; searching for chocolate everywhere). This causes me to experience energy highs and lows during the day. Which leads to mood swings that sabotage my productivity as I swing between hyperactive and exhausted. Making my sleep worse.
In the past I would have taken this as a sign to "TRY HARDER!"
If there is one thing I am never short on, it's persistence.
But I'm sick and tired of the struggle.
And the truth is, willpower is never enough to break a habit. Because willpower wears out. The strength of willpower is fleeting, inconsistent, and subject to our mood at that moment.
And when willpower fails us, we judge ourselves as failures, or we act out by binge eating or other habits that harm us because we see it as a losing battle.
So what do we rely on instead of willpower?
Our environment. Setting up an environment that supports your best every day, makes taking the action that propels you toward your goals feel natural.
Natural, but not exactly easy. Because setting up and maintaining an environment that promotes success requires some skills. Thinking ahead, accountability, planning, nurturing relationships, scheduling self-care time, finding pleasure, and deciding what needs to go.
The letting go part can be the most difficult.
Letting go of turning to snacks to relieve stress. Letting go of working too long. Letting go of staying up to late. Letting go of time with people that don't want you to change. Letting go of believing that your business can't survive if you are not pushed to your limit.
On some level you already know what needs to change. Start today building the environment that not only puts you at your best, but brings you joy.