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  • Writer's pictureKatie Gavin

Environment Over Willpower

Creating an Environment that is Conducive Towards your Fitness Goals:

As I’ve learned far too many times, being successful in your fitness and wellness is not about

increasing your will power; it’s about decreasing environmental triggers that hinder it. Willpower isn’t something you have or something you lack. It rises and falls. And while it’s impossible to maximize your willpower for every moment of every day, it is possible to make a few changes to your day and your routine so that you can get the most of your decisions and make consistent progress on the things that are important to you.

Here are 4 things you may be struggling with on your fitness journey and how you can progress:

1. Going to the gym:

-aim to go at the same time of day, that way it becomes more of a routine; it is

automatically built into your day so you don’t have to think about when to go

-if you are going after work, bring your gym clothes to work with you and change at the gym;

odds are if you go home after work you’re decreasing the chances of you going back out,

especially to the gym

-sign up for a class- this way you are held accountable for going and have already made that

decision the day before regardless of how you feel the next day

-put your gym clothes on. It may be as simple as dressing the part that pushes you to get to the


2. Poor eating habits:

-eliminate things from the household that may interrupt your choices; ie. If sweets are your

weakness either a) make them less accessible to you and/or b) try not to buy them in the first

place- they are harder to seek out when you have to leave the house to obtain them

-do not grocery shop hungry. This is where we tend to buy things we normally wouldn’t/things

that are highly palatable with low nutrient density

-keep lean meats, vegetables, and fruit stocked in your fridge. It’s way easier to eat if it’s the

only thing in your household- this means you must be keeping up with grocery shopping each

week to ensure food is plentiful

3. Consuming Negative TV/Social Media;

-you are what you consume

-phone/television/social media can all be environmental cues whether positive or negative,

choose your attention on things that will make you want to become better- not things that you

are currently trying to get rid of

-ie. Avoiding food network shows as it typically makes you hungry and leads to snacking

-social media accounts that provide false information about fitness and restrictive atmospheres

4. Poor Sleeping Habits:

-setting a restriction on app use at night to help you not feel the urge to play on it all night

-mood setting- setting the lights low so your body begins to start the process of winding down

-limiting caffeine use after 2:00 PM

-making your bedtime routine fun and enjoyable each night so you look forward to going to bed; ie. Hot shower, face mask, self-care, etc.

Whatever it is you may be struggling with, aim to limit the triggers that cause it. The less

available and prominent they are, the more you have to seek them out. Eventually, as more time passes avoiding them, the easier it gets to get rid of them.


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