At work, we have an entirely too-prolific array of food. A colossal wall is filled with wire baskets of every snack I've ever had the urge to eat—but never had the immediate access to indulge. (Growing up, my mom was a steel-cut oatmeal and spinach kind of mom.)
Now, I walk thirty steps to instant gratification. I cut open a bagel, and think, I know this isn’t good for me. At the same time, I can’t find a strong enough reason to resist it. I spread glorious cream cheese over the hot bagel’s surface...okay, I really know this is not good for me. Like keeping-an-ex-in-your-life type not good for you. But in the moment it’s what you want; it satisfies you (though on another level, incrementally distresses you), and I simply don't have enough willpower to push the bagel out of my life.
One bagel every once in a while is not the issue. But the inability to resist an urge when it carries no benefit aside from in-the-moment gratification—that's what nags at me. That's the issue.
Through my upbringing and education, I benefit from an awareness of nutrition, yet I still don't always adhere to what I know. The solution is not as simple as knowledge. It's not as simple as having apps to track nutrition. For me, willpower is the last hurdle in achieving a wholly healthy lifestyle.
What if there was something to help us form a habit of harnessing willpower? Something to show us the long-term, accumulative effects of our in-the-moment cream cheese urges? Something to change the way we think about what we eat? We need to break these seemingly harmless habits—or, at least, garner the willpower to try.
This is where a “30 Day Challenge” can come into play (see video).
I’m the one who introduced the video to my mom, and alas, she has actually integrated the concept into her life while I haven’t quite. Granted, I’m 23 and still (clearly) figuring out how to navigate my world. But mark my words: over the next month, I will embark on a 30 Day Challenge of harnessing willpower.
What will you do?