The Willpower to Cure Decision Fatigue

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Melissa Tucker - Purica Ambassador

Melissa Tucker
Purica Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s thoughts on how to prevent burn out.

Many people believe they could improve areas of their lives and achieve their dreams of eating right, working out or starting their own businesses…if only they had more willpower.

These people talk about their dreams with excitement but when you fast-forward two months, six months or even a year, often nothing has come of their dreams. Why? The problem may be that they are suffering from decision fatigue or simply put, a lack of willpower.

We all deal with decisions every single day of our lives, but some people do it better than others. As it turns out, people with strong willpower aren’t better at making more decisions than others. They are actually better at making fewer decisions. If you want to strengthen your willpower you must harness the power of automation and routines to prevent decision fatigue.

Your brain has a limited capacity to make decisions. After reaching that threshold of capacity, it starts to make decisions impulsively, largely out of self-defense and based on self-preservation. Yet those decisions aren’t usually in your best interest. Generally speaking, we tend to make poor decisions anytime we’ve been under the gun making a lot of decisions prior. You simply get burned out.

How can you prevent burn out?

Look at a habit as the smallest piece of personal automation you can do.  A habit is something you once made a decision to do and then eventually stopped thinking about it and continued doing it.  When a behavior becomes a habit you potentially have 45% more willpower for more impactful decision-making.

45% of our decisions are automated habits. This is why it’s so important to train yourself with healthy, productive habits.

To get started, follow these simple habit-building steps to maximize your willpower and optimize your ride of the ups and downs throughout the day:

  1. One of the simplest things most people neglect to do is organize their schedule.Make it a habit to put stuff into your calendar and check on it a couple of times per day. This will ensure your day navigates by your intention rather than drifting by distractions.
  2. Disable notifications and check semi-important stuff (such as email) at regular, scheduled intervals.
  3. Use an extrinsic reward when you are training a new habit until your intrinsic reward system kicks in. For example; if your goal is to start a new workout routine to lose weight and you love chocolate, reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate immediately after your workout and only allow yourself chocolate at that time. No workout = No chocolate. After about two weeks of doing this your desire for the chocolate will dwindle and your new workout habit will provide the feel good endorphins!
  4. Focus on building new desired habits rather than breaking old undesired habits.
  5. Surround yourself with like-minded supportive community of people and environment that will support your new behaviours.

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email Purica Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At Purica, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

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