Is your environment stronger than your willpower?

You walk into the kitchen, open the fridge and take a bite or two of leftovers, but before that you saw some M&M’s on the counter so you had a handful of those first.

As you start getting dinner ready, you snack on some crackers and, oh, don’t forget the wine!

Sound familiar?

If those M&Ms, crackers and wine weren’t in your environment, if they weren’t in plain view or in the house, you wouldn’t have eaten them.

This is a case of your environment being stronger than your willpower.

How about exercise?

Sure, you have a stationary bike or a treadmill, but lately they make a better clothes hanger than exercise equipment.

Yeah, you have an entire set of weights, but they are in the basement and it’s kind of dark down there or there are boxes surrounding it so you don’t really want to take the effort to use them.

Another example of your environment being stronger than your willpower.

You believe you “should have” the willpower to eat the right foods and exercise everyday, but the truth is that:

1. Willpower is a limited resource and gets used up with even the smallest of decisions like “do I use milk, half and half or drink my coffee black?” By the end of the day, making one more new decision is like .
2. New habits take a lot of energy to develop and don’t come naturally. You have to be aware of this fact and be prepared. You will understand why prepping, planning and having built in appointments makes your fitness journey more successful.

Until your healthy habits are fully engrained, your environment will have powerful tug on you to do what’s easiest (or tastiest!)

That is why I tell my clients:

  • Don’t even buy the soda (diet or not diet, don’t buy soda!),
  • Do buy pre-cut vegetables
  • Set your workout clothes, water and post-workout protein shake out the night before
  • Make an appointment to make sure it gets done. You make a hair appointment, don’t you? Make a workout appointment, too.
  • Throw out junk food. No one needs it and if it’s in the house, you will eat it (even if you bought it for your child/husband.)

You are great at so many things!

You are focused to finish and do well at so many things!

Never beat yourself up because haven’t been able to make a change in your fitness and health, but do take action and don’t give up.

Your environment matters.