Take a load off your willpower

Your willpower is finite. Set yourself up for success by using it wisely.

No greater have I noticed this truth than when mountaineering.  Pushing so far beyond my comfort zone, that I simply don’t have anything left to push further.  

This happened when we climbed Single Cone over winter.  I pushed through the crux, tackling a grade 1.5x higher than I’d attempted before, and experiencing sheer terror the likes of which I haven’t really felt before.  We arrived at the summit and there was a narrow ridge to cross. I knew I could do it – I watched the guys do it – but I simply had nothing left to push past my fear to cover these final few metres!  I had used absolutely everything I had to come this far and I was all outta will power. My mind simply said, enough!  A handline was put in, and clipping onto my harness, I was able to cross that last section of challenging terrain.

That is an extreme example but we have this in our daily lives too. We make decisions all day, every day, and the way we make those decisions can depend on the myriad of things going on on a daily basis, tiredness, stress, responsibility, hormones(!).  So it makes sense to do what we can to reduce the burden on ourselves and our willpower by setting ourselves up for success:

  • Plan what you can in your daily life. At the beginning of the week, plan out training, food, tasks that need to be done and pop them in the calendar… and make them achievable.
  • Food prep. This is my holy grail! I cook all my food on a weekend and have it boxed up ready to go, and I take enough snacks to work to prevent me from reaching for food that is devoid of nutrition and bad for my body.
  • Get ready the night before. Clothes, snacks, gear for training.
  • Have a daily actionable results list. Specific and targeted to keep you on track

It seems like a lot of work, but with discipline comes freedom.  If you can take the brain work out of the mundane daily tasks you free your mind up for abundance and creativity.

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