EP 25- Why Willpower Hasn’t Worked

EP 25- Why Willpower Hasn't Worked

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Why Willpower Hasn't Worked

Creating a consistent movement practice, for some, is a huge behavioural change. And behavioural change is not easy. If you’ve ever tried to quit a habit or create a new one in the past, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.  It takes a lot of practice, a lot of focus and a lot of mental strength.

Willpower is the tool we often rely upon when trying to make a habit change, and is defined as the ability to resist short-term gratification in pursuit of long-term goals or objectives.

In the fitness industry willpower can look like resisting the desire to curl up on the couch and watch netflix to go to the gym.  Or sacrificing our sunday morning sleep in time to get up and go for a run.  Or missing out on date night to have a date with our personal trainer… all with the intention that the long term gains will be worth the short term sacrifices.

In my experience as a trainer, I’ve seen countless clients try employing willpower in hopes that they’ll start to feel more motivated and eventually create a consistent exercise habit that they enjoy.  But the willpower always seems to run out before the habit is formed.

So is it an issue of not enough mental strength or is there something else going on?  The research would indicate there’s definitely more to it.  Tune into learn how mental strength is not the key to behavioral change when it comes to movement and how relying on willpower is affecting your motivation and what you can focus on instead.

What you’ll learn by listening:

  • How people find themselves on the start-stop cycle with movement
  • Why willpower runs out and what happens to our motivation when it does
  • How toxic fitness culture makes us believe that we need willpower in the first place
  • How to identify what you really want and how to set yourself up for success without relying on mental strength

Research Cited:


“Willpower Doesn’t Work”; Hardy, Benjamin, 2018

“Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?” Roy E Baumeister, Ellen Bratslavsky, Mark Muraven, and Dianne M. Tice Case Western Reserve University (1998)https://faculty.washington.edu/jdb/345/345%20Articles/Baumeister%20et%20al.%20(1998).pdf

“Why the Myth of Willpower is So Troubling” https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/15/16863374/willpower-overrated-self-control-psychology

Links Mentioned in the show:  

Motivation that Moves Me: Webinar Replay and Workbook

Right Body for Me – 16 week transformative coaching program

The Motivation Secret – FREE guide to help you get unstuck with movement.

Resources for Non-Diet Professionals



Radiant Vitality Website

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