Willpower is a finite resource, but YOU can access more!
Have you ever heard of ‘decision fatigue’? It’s what happens when you’ve been worn down through the day, deciding on everything from what to wear and where to sit, through to major business decisions or whether to go to Simon’s birthday on the weekend.
We have the most willpower (mental fortitude) in the mornings. However, by the evening – when a lot of us train – we are weaker and succumb to temptations more easily.
So how do we get past this block? We create habits! Habits are very powerful tools in our training arsenal. A well established habit will override a mild temptation or lapse in willpower.
Three stages of a habit
1. The Cue. Identify or create a trigger that tells you that it’s time to carry out a routine.
It can be an alarm – morning alarm for early sessions, or a calendar reminder for lunch and evening trainers. Or, maybe you’re a visual cue type person. Try keeping your gym bag in sight, so you have a constant reminder of your appointment with the gym.
2. Routine. In the case for training – is the physical behavior that follows the cue.
You leave home or work, get to the gym, and get ready for the session. Structured classes are handy to take away the decisions for what to do. Try limiting the chances to divert from your path to the gym.
3. Reward. The stimulus that we receive as a result of finishing the routine.
Remember the immediate euphoria after a hard session? The Oo-Rah at the end of a Lycan session. The handshakes at the end of jits class. The fist bumps at the end of a striking session. Or a big sweaty hug, showing your respect for some excellent sparring with a teammate. And don’t forget the longer term results from the training! Better fitness, improved shape, upgraded skills, and shaping yourself towards being the best version of you!
Plan ahead – pack your bags the night before so you can remove a barrier to completing your habit the next day.
Be accountable – tell people about your habits and associated goals to create more drive for your actions.
Commit – to at least 3 weeks (21 days) and see the habit flourish
Have fun / share the fun – share your passion for martial arts and fitness with those around you. Whether you’re a self professed ‘team captain’, or able to encourage the person next to you – we’re a team, and teams go further together.
What are your cues, actions and rewards? Comment and share.