Wellness Gets Easier with Time
Today's Will Power Moment - 27
with Dr. James Meschino
If you ask an ex-smoker if it was hard to quit smoking in the first 3 months, they will typically tell you that it was very hard and that it took tremendous willpower each day not to cave in to the temptation to light up. But, if you ask them how hard it is not to smoke a year after quitting, they’ll tell you it’s a lot easier than it was in the first month or two. And if you ask them 5 years later, they will tell you that not smoking 5 years after quitting is very much easier than it was when they first quit.
The point is that the longer you spend implementing a wellness behaviour, or any good habit, the easier it becomes to sustain it, and the less willpower you have to muster to keep it going. From experience, putting myself through the process, and with many patients that I have coached through lifestyle changes, I will tell you the same thing applies to giving up French fries, ice cream, hamburgers, cream and sugar in your coffee or tea, high fat pastries, potato chips, chocolate bars or whatever may be your current dietary weakness. It also applies to getting in your daily workout routine.
The point is that the longer you stick to your wellness intentions, the easier it gets, and the less you will have to rely on willpower, and overcoming strong urges to eat the fattening or artery-clogging food, or skip the workout because you feel a bit tired that day.
If you can battle through the first 3-6 months, I guarantee that it will get easier for you. After a year of being consistent, it becomes that much easier again, and after a couple of years you’ll look back and wonder how you ever could have been so far off track back then, compared to the new, improved you.
There are many ways to battle through the first 3-6 months when temptations are the greatest and willpower demands are highest, but one of the things to keep conjuring up when temptation hits is not just willpower, but also your “Want Power”. Keep reminding yourself that the effort you are putting in will make you happier with yourself and healthier, otherwise you wouldn’t have stared down this path in the first place. In your mind, see, in advance, what you will look like and how your life will improve as you make progress with your wellness goals. Remember that your improved health status will also make it possible to care for other loved ones, and less likely to be burden to them due to failing health – another worthy reason to look after yourself in the journey through life.
What I am saying is that in those early stage moments of temptation, find the thing or things that give you strength when you feel weak, and bring them to mind whenever you find yourself most tempted to give in or give up. That’s your “Want Power”. And remember, just like the ex-smoker, all these new health habits you are adopting will get easier to maintain as time goes by. You definitely have that to look forward to.
Wellness gets easier as time goes by, so stick to the fight and make it happen.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.
Dr. James Meschino
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.