The Willpower and Motivation Myth

January 19, 2023 1 comments

Not sure what it takes to successfully break bad habits and develop new ones to improve your health & well-being? You don't have to buy into the the willpower and motivation myth.

You might be able to relate to this cycle: 

  • I feel super motivated to get started working on my goal
  • A few days/ weeks later my motivation plummets
  • I rely on my willpower to get me through, which is extremely stressful
  • A few days/ weeks after that, my willpower plummets
  • I give up because I'm a complete loser and can't stick with anything

Believing that you have to just "get motivated" in order to get started keeps you from enjoying the process and getting healthier nowAnd since now is the only time you have, there's no need to wait around on anything!

You CAN ditch willpower & motivation and finally learn to get healthy the efficient way; there's less stress and white-knuckling involved!

Watch the video below now to learn:

  1. Why relying on willpower and motivation is unnecessary (and even harmful) to reaching your goals
  2. How much of your time may be spent in "autopilot" and why that's not all bad
  3. How to interrupt your Habit Loop and successfully change your health behavior

The habit loop is powered by craving

  1. Cue— a trigger tells your brain which routine to use. Example cue: You feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do.
  2. Routine— the physical, mental or emotional behavior that follows the cue. Example routine: Since you definitely need a break, you go outside to smoke a cigarette.
  3. Reward— the positive stimulus that tells your brain that the routine worked well. Example reward: The nicotine in your cigarette causes a spike in dopamine in your brain and your body relaxes, tension melts away. (The reward is brief, but still enough to reinforce the behavior as good to your brain). 
Habit Loop

The key to breaking the habit loop is twofold. You have to change your routine AND you have to have a similar or better reward in order to make sustainable change.

Questions to consider/ journal about so you can ditch your reliance on willpower and motivation:

  • What’s the habit loop you’re stuck in?
  • Considering this information, how can you successfully interrupt the cycle and free yourself from habits that don't contribute to your well-being?

Pick up your journal and write out your answers OR share your thoughts with others— OR EVEN BETTER, do both. Sure, you could think about how you'll take action. But I STRONGLY urge you to talk to another human about it or leave a comment below because sharing your thoughts and ideas helps build momentum, excitement, and insight. And— it leads to more action! This is precisely why you're here; you want to make some changes and get healthier!

Until next time, here's what you can do: Schedule a free discovery call to see if health coaching would benefit you.  If you're confused about what action steps you should take to move toward complete well-being, that happens to be my specialty. I help folks sift through dreams, desires, priorities, and obligations to determine precisely what that "next right thing" is. Action steps. Forward-focused planning. 

This is work that I do every day with my health coaching clients, and I'd be more than happy to talk with you if you need help in reclaiming balance in your life. Here are more details on health coaching: what I do and how I do it.

More, please:

Simple, Science-Backed Techniques to Create Your Best Morning Routine

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Watch the latest video blog post, 3 ways to avoid major stress and potential failure when trying to make healthy lifestyle changes now and learn: 1. Why resisting the urge to overhaul your entire routine, eating plan, etc is the most important thing you can do, even if you're fed-up-to-here with yourself.  2. Why choosing to start with easy doesn't mean you're lazy; it means you're smart. 3. Why micro-goals can actually help get you healthier, faster. 

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  • Become more resilient
  • Navigate complex health issues
  • Increase your sense of well-being