The Secret Strategy to Find the Willpower to Reach Your Goals
If you’re feeling discouraged and unmotivated to create positive change in your life, this strategy may help you alleviate your emotional triggers, increase your willpower, and achieve your goals.
The Chunking Strategy
Many of us cannot complete the tasks we set out to do because we get overwhelmed thinking of all the work required, which leads to a state of paralysis. Overwhelm is one of my main emotional triggers, and chunking is a great way to alleviate this and follow through with my goals.
Chunking is when you take a large task and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. With chunking you will find you have increased confidence and willpower and are able to complete more tasks with less stress.
We basically have unlimited willpower, but when presented with a momentous task the brain becomes overwhelmed and says, “ENOUGH! I’M DONE! BRING ME CHIPS!”
When my depression was at its height I had many days where I didn’t feel like going to the gym and hitting the weights. When I was in this negative emotional state, I found my mind focusing on the long, tiring workout I had planned ahead while feelings of inadequacy and not measuring up to my peers came creeping in. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
It’s called paralysis by analysis—when you’re overthinking something and you get stuck in a place of inaction. During times like this I feel things are hopeless. I plop my ass down on the couch and prepare for a good long Netflix binge, with a side of chips of course! Then comes the uncomfortable feeling of my potential being wasted and my waistline slipping further and further away.
To get over this state of inaction, I use chunking. I focus on the task at hand and think, “What is the next right move for me in this moment?”
I tell myself that I’ll go to the gym and I’ll do just a five-minute workout. If I want to exercise more after that, I have the option to do so. After the first five minutes is complete, I tell myself I’ll do five more minutes. And repeat.
Eventually the resistance to working out subsides, an hour goes by, and the workout is complete! I’m always in a better mood after I leave the gym, and the emotional triggers that were holding me back oftentimes seem insignificant once my workout is complete and I’ve gotten out of the house.
This article was written by Timothy James, a health coach focused on using simple mindfulness strategies to build habits and achieve weight loss goals. He’s created a free course to create your own self-care routine and get your mind and body in shape with simple strategies you can use today.
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