Willpower. What helps you?

I have been told I have amazing willpower.  I don’t particularly believe that I do.  Maybe I do when other people are watching but definitely not in most situations.

A fellow blogger wrote about decision fatigue recently (find her blog here complete with scientific link) and it really resonated with me this weekend.

I have been doing fairly well with diet and exercise.  As soon as a busy weekend comes along my diet takes a dive.  I think the weekend is the worst for a variety of factors.  It is more loosey goosey and not structured the way a work day is.  It has a lot more celebration type activities and other social activities.  It gets jammed packed with events, errands, and chores.  Heaven forbid you actually try to relax!  And it’s the end of the week.  I have been being “good” all week.

How do I keep myself for face planting every weekend over this stumbling block?  Well, if we are completely honest, I haven’t figured that out yet.   Planning out your meals is your best bet.  It doesn’t have to be every stitch of food but if you know that you are having Cheeseburgers for dinner then factor that in and work your other meals around it.  

Be nice to yourself.  You heard it here folks!  Be nice!  I screw up *ahem* often and some days I find myself in a loop of negative self-talk just picking and criticizing myself.  It brings me down and then I start the self-pity party and before you know it I am playing the “why me, why do I try” game and eating my feelings.  You will screw up.  You will have hard days, hell, weeks sometimes.  That’s all normal and so is critiquing yourself.  Just make sure you are using CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.  Make a plan of what the problem is and how do we change it.  For every negative thing you say about yourself say two positives.  

Celebrate at the parties, just without the reckless abandon.  No one wants to be that chick in the corner who is looking forlornly at the cake “No, I can’t have any.  Please go on without me!  Say something beautiful in my eulogy about how I sacrificed so much and passed up the cake.”  Eat the cake.  Not the whole cake, not even a quarter of the cake but a small piece of cake will not kill you.  To help keep me from eating the cake as if it was the last substance on earth I make sure to fill my belly BEFORE I go to the party.  It takes a little more planning and it doesn’t always happen BUT if I make sure to eat so I am full before I go to a celebration it is that much easier to pass on the extra giant piece of whatever.  Partially because I don’t have to lie and partially because my stomach isn’t pinging my brain with we are dying messages.

Rest.  We go all day every day.  Give your brain a break at least an hour on one of your weekend days.  Take a little bit of time for you that isn’t going to require a lot thought.  Read a book, go sit on the porch, take a nap on the couch.  Do one of those things we often feel guilty for doing, just don’t feel guilty.  The dishes will be there when you are done.  During the week workout time is often my “me” time but I think it’s so important to have just a little bit of do nothing time too.  Helps to re-charge the go-go battery.

Decisions are hard.  Healthy decisions are even harder.  Set yourself up, the best that you can for success.  A little preparation every day can help set you up for a more successful week.  Because I don’t know about you but come Thursday I am looking into my lunchbox hoping that lunch fairies made my decisions.  Let me know if you find them because they still have yet to pack my lunch!