If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I hate willpower. It’s just adrenaline in disguise.
I like what James Clear suggests in his book (which I haven’t read, but the idea is on his blog) Atomic Habits, which is to identify yourself with the habits that you’d like to keep.
It’s a much more realistic way of sticking to habits than relying on adrenaline. All it takes is a few small changes to your identity to stick to habits that actually get you closer to your goals.
For example: I’m not somebody who does 100 push-ups a day, I’m somebody who does 50 pushups a day, because that’s far more realistic given my current lifestyle of raising two kids and holding a full-time job. If time allows and if I get better at doing push-ups, I’ll change my identity and be somebody who does 100 push-ups a day.
If you rely on willpower, you’re going to burnout. It’s inevitable. And burnout is a waste of time.
Identifying with your habits is a practice in self-awareness. It’s about humility. It’s about forgiving yourself for not being Hercules on day one of your new fitness regime.
Mind over matter.