When making healthy decisions, it sometimes seems impossible. But why? It all comes down to willpower, and here are 3 strategies that you can start using now to increase willpower and stick to your guns.
There are countless tips floating around this time of year about how to eat healthy at holiday parties, how to make time for your workouts, and how to be a super fitness human that scoffs at a platter of homemade snickerdoodle cookies while doing deadlifts, reaching 350% of their daily activity goal on their Polar fitness tracker and drinking a green juice.
If you’ve ever felt discouraged that this just seems impossible, I understand. But here are two important points to consider. First of all, doing all of that at once is impossible. Second, there’s only one thing keeping you from making healthy decisions during the holidays, and that’s willpower.
We all want to be able to say limit those treats and make time to work out. But why does it sometimes seem so hard? I’ve been there many times, when you have a plan to totally NOT eat dessert at a party but then you totally do. When you plan to do an extra hard workout because you know you’ll be indulging later, but then you just end up drinking eggnog while watching Elf for the thousandth time. It all comes down to willpower, and here are 3 strategies that you can start using now to increase willpower and stick to your guns.
1. Save your willpower for when you know you’ll need it most.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can be lazy or eat like a college student until it’s time to get serious. But the fact is, willpower only comes in doses. You can’t be perfect all the time, and when confronted with the temptation of skipping your workout or eating something unhealthy, has your willpower run out? When you restrict yourself constantly, you’re more likely to overindulge when the occasion arises. Use your willpower wisely, take it easy on yourself, and then you’ll be able to say “no thanks” a whole lot easier when the time comes.
2. Get busy.
Let’s set the scene: you’re at an ugly Christmas sweater party, you’re standing next to a table full of appetizers and you can literally think about nothing else aside from how much you want a few of those cocktail meatballs. It seems like common sense, but tear your mind (and your lustful eyes) away from the appetizers, and go mingle! Go play a round of holiday charades! Talk to that weird coworker you’ve been avoiding! Do something to clear your mind of that thought and before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about it.
3. Build smart habits for the long-term.
So the holidays are here and you realize that maybe you haven’t been on the straight and narrow all year, so suddenly now is the time and here is the place. While it’s a good thought, it’s just not realistic. You can’t expect yourself to be the pinnacle of health immediately, and especially not during such a tricky time of year. The reason people are able to stick to their goals of working out and eating well during this season is because they’ve built life-long habits of making those choices. Start by making it a habit to reach 10,000 steps per day, or eat veggies with all of your meals. This way, you’ll build long-lasting habits that you can easily draw on when you need to.
With Polar, you can build healthy habits at any stage of life! Whether you’re a walker, runner, Crossfitter or cyclist, there’s a fitness tracker that’s made especially for you.
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