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Why Relying Solely on Willpower Won't Transform Your Habits!

I might be a little bit late to the party, given that it is February and a lot of people start their quest for self-improvement in January. Stick with me here please, and we will explore why so many new year’s resolutions never last into February. 

Many of us, myself included in the past, declare with gusto our New Year’s intentions, only to fall into the trap of relying solely on willpower to achieve them. Whether it's committing to regular exercise, eating healthily  or incorporating new practices like adding a daily superfood blend into our diets. We often believe, or have been taught to believe, that sheer determination and discipline will get us there. 

However, as numerous studies and my own personal experience has shown, this approach is fundamentally flawed and it rarely leads to lasting change.  It feels like bloody hard work and it certainly is not filled with joy. It’s exhausting having to rely on sheer willpower to change the habits and behaviours which do not serve us. 

Now, please do not think that I am dissing willpower, we need it for sure. It helps get us started - but we have to realise that it doesn’t come with an unlimited supply - it depletes over time. 

When we rely solely on willpower to create and sustain habit change, we set ourselves up for failure because we're essentially asking ourselves to exert constant effort and restraint without addressing the underlying factors that resulted in us behaving in a certain way in the first place. 

You see, the habits and behaviours that frustrate us now, at one point or another, served us well. 

 

For instance, that couple of glasses of wine every night that we want to eliminate out of our life helped us relax or made us feel more confident, at one point.

Or that microwave meal, that pings most nights that has absolutely zero nutritional value, bought us time when life was super busy. 

Relying solely on willpower to introduce a new habit, fails to address the psychological and emotional factors that underlie our habits and behaviours. Habit change is not just about adopting new actions; it's also about understanding and addressing the perceived benefits the habit and behaviour brings as well as the triggers, and motivations that drive our actions in the first place. 

Without addressing these underlying factors, our efforts to change habits are likely to be short-lived and unsustainable.

True lasting change involves shifting our focus from sheer determination to creating an environment, mindset and language that supports our desired behaviour. This approach involves making small but impactful changes to our core beliefs, our language (internally and externally) and also our environment. This will facilitate lasting success. 

It starts with the creation of a new personal identity. We make the move from a person “trying” to change to a person who steps into a reality where they feel deserving and capable. We first create this new version of ourselves in our mind and we then speak it into reality using embodied language that empowers our daily action. 

We move from a person who says……

“I struggle to eat healthy and I am trying really hard to follow this diet” 

to.......

“I am a person who deserves to feel at my best so I give my body the nutrients it needs”

Or……

“I find it really hard to find the time to go to the gym”

To……..

“Exercising is really important for my health so I prioritise it X times a week” 

From…..

“I need wine to help me get to sleep”

To……….

“I have a healthy sleep routine before bed which allows me to sleep like a baby” 

Once our new identity is created, we can then focus on how to make it easier for ourselves and this is where habit stacking can play an important role in sustaining our success. 

For instance, instead of relying solely on willpower to remember to take your daily superfood blend, you could link it to an existing habit, such as making your morning coffee. By integrating the new habit into your existing routine and making it as easy and convenient as possible, you reduce the need for constant willpower and increase the likelihood of success.

It just becomes part of what you do automatically!

Relying solely on willpower to create change is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. By understanding the limitations of willpower and creating an environment for change at a core level, we can all create sustainable habits that endure beyond fleeting moments of determination.

So, if you're looking to incorporate a daily superfood blend into your habits—or any other positive change—remember that true transformation comes from more than just sheer willpower; it comes from creating an environment and mindset that supports your hopes and dreams. 

With Superfood Love,

MCxx

 


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