Simple ways to manage your willpower.

Willpower is a tricky thing.  So often we feel that we are just lacking in willpower completely, and if we could only increase our quota, we would be able to handle whatever obstacle we face.  This is a false assumption.

Controlling our actions does require a great deal of willpower.  If, for example, you are near a bowl of Halloween candy for hours a day, that depletes your daily allotment of willpower much more than if you only stood near the bowl for two minutes while you waited for the teller at the bank to complete your transaction.  Its the same bowl of candy, but your willpower meter hardly budges at the bank, whereas by the end of the workday,  you may just end up eating that candy with no willpower to spare.

You did not show less restraint when you ate the candy after hours of temptation though.  In fact, you were highly disciplined up until the end.

Or, let’s say you made it through the entire day of work without indulging in any of your favorite Halloween treats in the bowl, but when you arrived at home you snap at your husband for leaving his cereal bowl from breakfast, with particles of cereal cemented to the bowl after drying in the sun streaming in the sink all day.

You are not a *itchy woman.  You just have zero restraint, i.e.:  willpower, after having stared down pumpkin shaped Resee cups all day.

Anything you use your power of restraint on will deplete your daily allowance.  You don’t have a willpower bank for your husband, another for dieting, and yet another for staying on top of the laundry.  

So the lesson here, you truly do need to pick your battles.  You can only tackle one behavior change at a time.  Additionally, here are a few more tips:

1.  Warn your family.  If you are developing a new habit, and you know its going to be a challenge, let those closest to you know.  By forewarning them and reassuring them of your unconditional love, they will be less likely to take offense when you choose not to restrain your speech as much.

2.  Know that habits, once formed, are easier to maintain and require very little willpower.  You no longer have to will yourself to brush your teeth, for example.  If you have children, you know that is no easy habit to form.

3.  If you know something is going to be a difficult temptation, go ahead and indulge early on.  This way you can manage how much you indulge, and you will remove that temptation for the rest of the day.  

4.  Set up your environment for success.  If it is within your authority to remove the candy bowl, and gift it to another department for example, than do that.  Out of sight is hopefully out of mind, and that will maintain your willpower stores.  But, if you continue to obsess about the candy even though its on another floor, refer to #3.

If you are interested in developing some good habits that will make willpower much easier, than The Cocoon Project is for you.  That is my new free program that comes to your email, and will walk you through small steps to incorporate exercise into your day and develop healthy food habits too.

Just enter your email to begin receiving The Cocoon Project over the next 3 weeks, and see how your perimenopause symptoms begin to improve.