(from the Lose Weight Here book…)
It has been shown that willpower is like a battery, it can be drained and it can be recharged. MOST people have such small willpower batteries and they are so drained that they are ill equipped to make even a single change without failing. How do you switch from a drained resource called willpower to the fully charged one called skillpower? Well you’ll have to read the book to find out more about that but today I will explain what makes up the willpower battery…
Your willpower battery is made up of 3 small batteries:
- mental battery
- physical battery
- emotional battery
Each of these has their own reserves and together they determine the size and charge of your willpower battery. All three must be charged and in balance to make sure your willpower lasts.
For example, take your classic stressed out, over worked, sleep deprived businessperson. At some point he or she made a choice whether consciously or unconsciously to keep the mental battery charged at the expense of the physical and emotional batteries. Because of that, this person ended up overweight and unhealthy-with broken friendships and family relationships as well. Can you relate?
The Mental Battery
This battery is easily drained and as a result, when it’s depleted, it will drain your willpower battery as well. Each battery can steal energy from the other and this one will frequently tap the physical and emotional batteries to charge up. When this happens it can result in choosing quick energy source devoid of high quality nutrients, such as sugar based foods and stimulants (COFFEE!) It can also mean less desire to exercise since movement requires mental energy investment in the beginning before it gives back and charges you up. Stress sucks a lot of energy from the mental battery too. So does self editing or planning. Those who engage in the most internal dialogue and constantly worry about their lives are draining their mental batteries and their willpower the quickest. The same goes for planning and constantly thinking about all the things you must do. The more you try to change about yourself and your life at one time, and the more to-dos you have on your list, the less likely you are to do anything at all. All or nothing almost always becomes nothing.
A few steps to try to make sure your mental battery is strong
- Focus on changing one aspect of your life at a time (I am a strong believer of this!)
- Write down the tasks you need to do rather than holding them in your head. Try to limit this list to the three most important items. Don’t attempt to add anything to your to-do list unless you have removed at least two other things first.
- Get adequate sleep, move regularly, and engage in plenty of rest and recovery activities. This will reset your mental focus and charge your mental battery. (I am also a huge supporter of the need for more sleep!)
- Practice mindful meditation, one of the best skills to add to your arsenal. So the first item on the list of three important items? LEARN HOW TO MEDITATE (Or do more yoga)
The Physical Battery
This is the most important of the three. Illness in the body will sap mental and emotional energy and drain willpower faster than anything else. This is the major reason people desire vitality and health; on some level they know and understand than when their physical battery is functioning optimally, everything else is substantially easier to manage. This is why achieving optimal body composition and burning off the fat that weigh you down and eat away at your health and vitality is so important. But it’s more than just being thin but also fit and strong. Having a big, strong and robust physical battery can power your emotional and mental batteries during times of stress and hardship. Just make sure that you don’t diet too hard as their can lead to long term penalties for your body and it will say your mental battery. Be more intuitive in your approach, this is better for your willpower battery.
The Emotional Battery
This is the hardest to manage as it is strongly influenced by others. Did you know that obesity is contagious? But so is leanness! You tend to be about the same size as the five to ten people you hang around with most. That is why having a strong emotional support system that not only supports but also engages in your efforts to get and stay healthy with you is critical. Research has shown that there are other actions that will bolster your emotional battery.
Give more-Without the expectation of getting something in return as this is a setup for draining your emotional battery. Get in the habit of doing kind, compassionate things without expectation. Tip big, pay for the next person in line’s coffee, volunteer once a week, whatever you chose, do it sporadically as this will keep your battery charge instead of doing it everyday and feeling drained.
Practice gratitude-At the end of each of day, list 3 things for which you are grateful. Most importantly, when everything seems to be going wrong, think about what you have to be grateful for at that moment. There is always something and this will help keep your emotional battery charged.
Pamper yourself-Stop making the mistake of attaching your needs to others. Then we end up sad, resentful or angry when the person does not act on it in the way we seek. Whenever you have negative feelings toward a person, or positive feelings of admiration, consider that person a mirror into your own higher self. What you will find is that what you love or hate about them-and the needs you are hoping they will fulfill-are the things that you love or hate about or need for yourself. Spend time with yourself to understand what it is you need to be giving, saying and doing for yourself. Take a long weekend away by yourself, hang out at a spa, eat some delicious food and treat yourself to a mini vacation. There are many ways to fit this into your budget and schedule, so try to find a way!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this excerpt from the “Lose Weight Here” book. If you want to read more, go ahead order the book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I would be happy to help answer any of your questions about this book OR any other questions you may have related to nutrition, working out, how to make more time for yourself or simply want help getting started on your path towards a healthier lifestyle.
I looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting you 🙂