Every year, it seems, at least half of my friends make a resolution to lose weight. Some start strong with a solid plan, and some barely make it past the black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Others make it a few weeks, and then seem to just fizzle out.
What happens? Why doesn’t it work?
We seem to have this idea that if we just have enough willpower, if we want it enough, we can make anything happen. I blame those after-school specials I grew up on. The reality is, willpower is not something that comes easily.
If all it took was willpower, and if everyone could muster it, don’t you think we’d all look like Instagram models? I mean, we see willpower as basically “want.”
Do you have the “want” every January 1? Yes. Do you still have it on January 21, when you’re eating your feelings in the form of a whole pizza, half a chocolate cake and a biggie size soda? Yes, you do.
The real difference is what the dictionary actually says about willpower. Willpower is defined as “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.”
Willpower isn’t really just about wanting. It’s about deciding. It’s about doing. And that, my friend, is hard work.
When you move a thing from the realm of “wishful thinking” to the reality of “deciding to act,” you’re moving into the real, true power of will.
It takes a lot of hard work, and that’s kind of the point. Weight loss requires more than just eating smaller portions or walking 10,000 steps a day. It’s more than just “move more, eat less,” as the oversimplification goes.
It takes a deep exploration of who you are, why you do what you do, and what works best for your body and brain. It takes exercise and dietary changes, of course. But it also requires you to make changes to your habits: better sleep, improved stress levels, and making self care a priority. It takes a support system, accountability, and a plan.
If you’re ready to make a plan, and if you’re ready to decide on and initiate action, check out our Weight Loss Program. Or better yet, sign up for our free New YOU REVolution workshop on New Year’s Day. Your future self will thank you!
By Jena Barber, whose New Year’s Resolution is to practice what she preaches.