Wellness Wednesday Tip #2: Improving Willpower

Happy Wellness Wednesday friends!

     Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You decide that you’re tired of feeling out of shape and want to improve your health. You drive to the grocery store and load up of fruits and vegetables, plan out your meal prepping calendar and get your Tupperware ready, dust off that gym membership that’s been hanging on your key ring for months, and curate the perfect playlist of songs to help motivate you through those tough workouts you’re going to crush 5 days a week. You’ll probably have a six-pack just in time to hit the beach next month…

     Then the weekend comes and some friends are getting together for drinks, or you’re tired of cooking all week, and inevitably you find yourself eating pizza, throwing away the fruits and veggies that went bad too fast, and regretfully feeling your six-pack dreams wash away (they’re over-rated anyway, right?)

How’d I do?

     If this sounds familiar, trust me you’re not the only one. I’ve found myself in this scenario too many times to count, which is why for this week’s #WellfieWednesday I wanted to give a tip on willpower.

     When it comes to making changes in your life, I’m a big fan of the concept of “Small Victories” – looking at daily occurrences as an opportunity to fuel positive changes. Examples include choosing not have one of those cookies someone brought in to work (victory), skipping the soda and having water with lunch (victory), going for a walk after work instead of sitting on the couch (victory), getting out of bed without hitting snooze (ehh not-so-small victory).

     Each of these small victories produces a snowball effect, creating a more powerful decision making process throughout the day and loading you up with positive reinforcement to continue to make healthier changes in the future. I’ve found this method to be much more effective because it frames the challenge of improving your life in small successive steps, rather than facing one giant abstract goal of getting “healthier”.

     Give it a shot this week and let me know what you think. Reach out on Twitter to me (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or Patrick (@PBernerSPT) and send us your selfies of you doing something to improve your wellness (aka Wellfie) tagged with #WellfieWednesday to keep the word spreading. 

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT