Thursday, July 9, 2009

Principle of Limited Self-Control

Clients often say, "If only I had more willpower..." It takes effort to change your lifestyle into a healthy one. Eating the proper foods, exercising daily and changing old habits. This all becomes something that the client has to self-regulate or self-control. Here's what researchers think of this theory.

Psychologists believe that for each person, self-control is a limited source. Some people have more self-control than others, but NO ONE has limitedless self-control. Sure, some people can avoid having pizza when it's staring them right in the face, but given the wright (or maybe it's the wrong) situation, giving in to an indulgence almost seems natural. As a LWMC, it is my job to minimize the amount of self-control a client has. By detailing out their workouts and adjusting their eating habits, they have a plan that hopefully will fit them and make it easy to follow.

Secondly, habits are comfortable and require little self-control. The more quickly lifestyle modifications can become habits, the happier and more successful a client will be. People are creature of habit and we tend to settle into daily routines. Most people can only tolerate a relatively small disruption of their daily routines. It's my job to break those "bad" habits and help my clients incorporate "healthy" habits. To do this I must allow for small changes to their behavior and allow time for each of those to become habit.

Third, coping with stress requires self-control. Face it, we all have some kind of stress in our lives. Be it our jobs, family, taking care of the house, fitting in exercise, our own health, name it! It's more difficult to change to healthy habits when we are stressed out and worrying. During the holidays is NOT a good time to start a new healthy lifestyle. We will become too busy stressing about what we can and cannot eat instead of taking the time to make healthy changes gradually.

Last, self-control seems to be renewed every day. Well, that's good news! It is highest in the mornings, and then gradually diminishes as the day goes on. his explains why people who exercise in the morning tend to be most successful in sticking to their exercise programs. It also explains why "dieters" are good during the early part of the day and often give in to temptation at night.

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