10/07/2015 05:23 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 05:12 EDT

10 Ways to Reclaim Your Willpower

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Young woman choosing between donut and apple
Jamie Grill via Getty Images
USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Young woman choosing between donut and apple

Did you know that your willpower depends on a limited psychological resource. That means that the more willpower you currently have to exercise the harder it will be to make a change.

What you need to do is try to change your environment to remove as much need for willpower as possible.

Here are 10 things you can do to avoid using willpower:

1. Don't Have Junk Food in Your House

This is an absolute must if you're trying to eat healthy. This is a habit I've done for years. If you want something you have to go out and buy it. The more work needed the better chance you will say "forget about it".

2. Pay for Gas at the Pump

Retail stores know exactly where to position products to break your willpower. The chips and chocolate display is perfectly placed for "point of purchase" sales. Instead pay at the pump and save some of that willpower.

3. Make Your Coffee at Home

As much as I love Starbucks, every time I go in now they ask me if I want a donut with my green tea. Of course I want a donut! Instead I make my tea from home now or go to David's Tea.

4. Make Exercise a Routine

Read my article about How To Never Miss a Workout Again. This will help you adopt a new mindset. Or hire a personal trainer that takes all the thinking out of it. The appointment forces you to go making willpower not even a thought in your mind.

5. Know What You Want Before You Go in to the Restaurant

Your having the chicken salad with the olive balsamic dressing. There, I made the choice for you. You don't need to look at the menu, just go in with your custom order. It works for me every time.

6. Start a New Hobby

Going to the theatre means you have to avoid the popcorn. Going to the pub means you have to avoid the beer. Try picking up a new hobby that doesn't test your willpower every time. Try rock climbing or how about something more relaxed like learning a new instrument.

7. Carry Healthy Snacks

I keep roasted almonds in my car that way if ever I get the feeling like I want to stop for some fast food I just eat the almonds. Here's a list of 10 healthy easy snacks to help you get ideas.

8. Make Healthy Friends

Sometimes the worse surroundings are your friends. It makes them feel bad that you're doing so well on your nutritional habits they guilt trip you. Try adding new friends to the mix. Find like minded people and it will make things a lot easier.

9. Switch to Netflix

There's no commercials. That means no mouth watering visuals reminding you to just order a pizza when you're hungry. Sounds a little silly but the small things add up to make the big things.

10. Make a Public Announcement

Like I said, friends and family can be the worse influence. The other day I saw a public announcement from a friend on Facebook. She said that she's decided to stop drinking alcohol. She said she would appreciate if people would support her decision by not trying to pressure her. I thought that was great.

Bonus 11: Use the 80/20 Rule

If it's a celebration that's unavoidable go in with the expectation that your going to stray a little. But have it set. Maybe it's limiting yourself to one piece of cake. You still have to live; just build it into the system.

It's hard enough to try to eat healthy. Having candy by your desk and ice cream in your freezer makes things a lot harder. Try to make these changes to your environment and you will start to have the power to push you towards your goals.


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