Fit Mom Credo #2
Don’t rely on willpower use a strategy
It’s late at night and you have given your all, juggling everything and wearing your many hats.
You solved 8 problems with your kids, your spouse, and you finally made that important decision that’s been nagging you all week.
It’s finally “me time” and you can’t seem to follow through with your healthy habits.
“What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I follow through? I don’t have any willpower left”
fitmcpic1.png You don’t have to beat yourself up anymore. When you say “ I have no willpower left” you are telling the truth.
The short term comfort of emotional eating is haunted by the long term shadow of guilt. Lets exercise these emotional demons away with the security of guilt saving strategy.
“ You must have a system in place that protects you from your lower self” -Tim Ferris
My Personal burn out story
I wake up on average between 330-4am ( I’m crazy, I know) Monday through Friday. People see, at most, about 20% of the things being done to run TNF. Most days of the week I'm making a massive amount of small decisions, big long term strategy decisions, and 17 hour days are typical for a serious business owner.
A few years ago I completely shut down after years of this same schedule. I was not able to finish the easiest tasks and actually did not want to.
I thought I could simply WILLPOWER my way through it all.
Keep pushing harder through the hard days with little sleep. Then, on top of the burn out I experienced, my identity took a hit.
I had prided myself on outworking people and being burnt out screwed with my mind. How can this happen to me? The downward spiral started because I was not able to act in accordance with my identity. Thankfully I used my tool box to make a quick return.
The following changed the game forever for me. It has the power to do the same for you.
Imagine you have 100 units of both decision making resources and willpower which all come from the same tank. Scientists have started to quantify this with brain imaging technology.
You know the deal- waking up at the crack of dawn with 1-3 kids, spouse, school and maybe lots of professional stuff.
Each decision you make or contemplate uses some units.
What should I dress the kids in? -10 units
What food do I need to make? - 15 units
Misc stuff with spouse- 20 units
Misc decisions about your errands/etc -30 units
Answering emails - 15 units
This is all before 7am …. You can imagine how the rest of the day feels and how many units you will use up.
By the end of the day you are simply out of units and your brain throws in the towel. Similar to a marathon runner hitting the wall being depleted of energy and glucose.
The Villain in this story is the abundance of decisions you have to make throughout the span of the day. The hero in this story is your strategy and systems that eliminate the need to make decisions.
Eliminating as many decisions as possible will leave more will power in your tank along with safety net strategies to follow through on your goals.
5 hero strategies to save the day
Grocery Shop with a list- Download here
This grocery shopping list is self explanatory. Check off lots of healthy choices.
Plan your a few meals in advance- On Sunday night plan a couple days worth of meals. When it’s lunch time just reach for your prepared lunch. ( no willpower required)
Batch decision making, close open loops
It’s Friday afternoon and you were asked a question by a co-worker or family member but logistically you can’t do anything about it until Monday morning comes. So what happens? You think and deliberate on it all weekend depleting you mentally-ram/resources.
In the lexicon this is referred to an OPEN LOOP. Open loops are vampires that feed on your willpower tank.
What to do?
Make the majority of your decisions during a certain part of the day or week. This will save you valuable decision making ram. Here are two real world examples.
Set boundaries when you have the ability/power to limit decision making. ( I'm not talking about the important and urgent things that come up being a head of a household)
You should know what you are having for lunch tomorrow. When you have to scan your environment for a food choice you are draining your will power tank.
I don’t allow big decisions to be asked of me during the weekend. The weekend is for my son and finishing projects from early in the week. Who says you need to make decisions all the time and react? Is it because it’s the right thing or have you simply not set boundaries?
Have an email policy and STICK to it.
“Honey, I will be right with you I just have to respond to…”. Sound familiar? Look, I have ruined many romantic relationships simply because I would never stop working on business. I have broken enough eggs making omelettes to set boundaries on email. ( one exception is when I’m traveling in a different time zone. )
SCIENCE SAYS IT’S DEPRESSING YOU!!!!
I attended a habit summit at Stanford university. One of the main speakers presented studies that indicated people who check email more frequently experience higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety. It’s our generation's Las Vegas slot machine.
I have an email policy in my email signature stating when I respond to email. Its a WIN-WIN. People know when they can expect a response from me and after that window is closed I feel great relief.
Do you want to feel great relief? Those I have shared this with and have taken action to implement it are singing the benefits and laugh at the imagined fears that never surfaced.
Chris you don't underrated my job, business etc…. The CEO of Cisco does not allow email on Saturday. She called it her unplug day. If the CEO of Cisco, who might have a few things on her plate can do it, you can.
What strategy or systems can you implement so you don’t have to rely on will power?
Remember ,We have Pacifica’s number one accountability system. Give our accountability system a try. What’s the best that can happen?
Dedicated to what you Deserve,
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