Chalk Talk #5 – Willpower

Today I wanted to talk about a pivotal moment that we come across in our daily lives. This moment comes down to a decision, to do or to not do something. Specifically in the moment when it comes to either working out, or not working out. Ordering something healthy, or something high in calories. Having some sweets but staying in your calorie count, or eating until you get sick. These are pivotal moments in your journey to success, getting fit and losing weight.

I’ve read and have heard tons and tons of information on how to stay consistent. How to build willpower, and habits. How to find your passion in life, how to pursue it. How to grow a business, or reach a goal. Thousands on thousands of hours are spent on videos, podcasts, and books all giving you tips and tricks on how to figure out what you want to accomplish in life. The problem that I continued to run into time and time again was not what I wanted to accomplish, but how. It wasn’t until I discovered a pretty awesome person who some of you may know that I learned the how.

Her name is Mel Robbins, and she developed a very elegant solution to a very complicated issue, Willpower. She is best known for her famous Ted Talk titled “How to stop screwing yourself over”. This talk is extremely enlightening and powerful. The video you can watch for yourself at the bottom of this post. She also has a great book titled “The Five Second Rule”.

To sum it up for you in my own words, Mel believes in one critical idea and explains her amazing solution to the problem. Her belief is simple, motivation is garbage. I can’t explain how much I love this idea. She is absolutely right about it. Motivation is simply unreliable and inconsistent. She explains that by saying “You’re never gonna feel like it”. Again, super powerful to think about once someone slaps you in the face and you wake up from the delusion. Motivation is garbage! How often have you got yourself all pumped to get something done or change your lifestyle or lose weight and you do it for about a week, maybe a little longer? Something super small and inconvenient always comes up and throws you off track. Then you just simply go back to your old ways because that is what is easy and comfortable. You are never going to feel like doing it, ever. You don’t want to pay the bills, you don’t want to go to work, you don’t want to eat healthy. You have to learn to “parent” yourself since you no longer have someone telling you to not eat an entire cake in one sitting.

Her solution to getting yourself to do something you don’t want to? How to stay consistent? How to work out when your tired? How to tell your boss you need a raise?

Counting backwards, activates cognitive thinking in your brain. It forces your brain to “turn off” auto pilot mode and be able to “wake up”. After enough repetitions of this process, you will physically and literally re-wire your brain and thought process.

I know this sounds silly and like it wouldn’t work but I would challenge you all reading this to try it! I have found myself trying  to talk myself out of counting because I know if I do it, it will make me do whatever it is that I need to do! It’s such a silly trick but it’s one that I have found to be profoundly effective. Have dishes in your sink that you have been too “tired” to do for the last two days? up, and get them done. Give it a shot and tell me what you think! It can be applied to anything! I often will use this for my dieting. When I really want to reach for another cookie even though I’m at my calorie limit for the day, I will count down and tell myself a command after counting down, which is usually “walk away”.

These little decisions like the example above every single day is what can get you to your goals. These little decisions build upon each other and multiply. Using the countdown trick can and will help you actually make those small decisions that will benefit your future and will add up to the sum of getting you to where you want to be in life. We are the sum of our decisions. We all have goals and dreams but if we cant build ourselves towards them little by little, day by day, we will never get to the top of that mountain. So use this trick to control your emotions and thoughts. Think of how much more successful you could be today, this very moment if you didn’t make decisions based on your emotions. Do not let your emotions make all those little decisions for you.

Not to drag this on too much longer, but I do want to educate you a little bit with emotions. It’s important to understand that the emotions we have are nothing more than a survival mechanism. You feel sad when you are by yourself because it used to be physically safer to be in a group. You feel scared when attempting new things because people used to physically die when they tried new things, like eating a new plant or going to a place they have never been before and mistakenly get lost. We are the way we are today through conditioning of the human mind, through the evolutionary process. You need to understand this because understanding this will help you understand that our emotions are there simply to keep you “safe”. In this day and age, the unknown plant that you want to try to eat is starting your new business. The mind is built to keep you alive. Not to ensure your success of your goals and dreams. Your goals and dreams usually bring you to places that make you uncomfortable, scared, and uncertain. These create emotional responses causing your brain to sound the alarm and try to convince you to stop doing what your doing. All because it might not be “safe”, or bad for your survival. Controlling these emotions and the emotional decisions that come with them is the only way you can thrive in life rather than just survive. Use this trick that Mel Robbins has stumbled upon and defined for all of us to your benefit. Dominate your emotions and change the course of your life.

You’re not getting any younger.






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