Did you know you have a limited supply of decision-making power?
That’s right, research shows willpower is like a muscle…it fatigues, and eventually refuses to cooperate altogether.
The more decisions you make in any given day, the more you deplete your willpower stores.
Yet, most people attempt to form new habits (e.g. eating well, exercising) by willing themselves to it.
And it don’t work.
That’s why I recommend abstinence in making choices. Quit dispensing your willpower in such a willy-nilly way. Restrict yourself to high-leverage acts of will, and instead of trying to moderate your minute-by-minute behaviours, focus on applying what I call *context changes*.
A context change is a change to your environment.
The reason it’s so powerful, is you apply a little determination ONCE, and it pays off over and over again.
One of my most harped upon nutrition strategies is food prepping. Why? It’s a high-leverage, high-upside decision. Sure you’ve gotta convince yourself to make time to cook and pack meals. But that one move saves you having to make 6-10 individual choices you’d otherwise encounter if you didn’t already have meals and snacks on hand. Standing at many repeated crossroads will eventually leave you tapped out in the good-decision-making department.
You’d be binging on your own willpower.
Example numero dos…
Let’s say you want to walk more. One way is to simply tell yourself you’re going to walk more, and daily match wits with the devil on your shoulder and his compelling case for collapsing on the couch instead.
The other is to not buy a metropass, so you’re forced to walk to and from work each day.
Again, one choice vs. many.
Got a weakness for potato chips?
Perform a Lays-ectomy on your kitchen cupboards. You might still eat them, but at least you don’t have to stare temptation in the face so often that it erodes your judgment.
Is any of this advice new?
Maybe not in the specifics. But I’ll wager the concept behind it has never been placed before you in such a neatly wrapped package. Once you get the thought-process behind the examples above, you can see with new lenses any area in which your actions often betray your goals.
What context change can you implement?
How can you make better choices by making fewer choices?
I cover this in full detail, along with several other BREAKTHROUGH concepts at my Lean For Life talk on April 25th:
Don’t miss it.
Hear me, ye faithful…
Forsake thy binge.
Ration thy willpower, and thou shalt not hunger.
To A Low-Willpower Diet,