Willpower and Exercise Willpower to exercise can be one of the hardest things to maintain when losing weight. Starting out you feel sluggish and unable to go for more than a few minutes. Your joints hurt and you find that it’s easier to just stay home and sit on the couch. Eventually the motivation and the dream of being in better shape dies until the next hearty attempt a few weeks later. I know that feeling and I’ve been there. It sucks and it never seems to end. Well as I’ve said in the dieting willpower post the only way to stick with something and make it a habit and eventually a lifestyle is to make it extremely easy and enjoyable for yourself; so easy and so enjoyable it only takes a moment’s thought or not thought at all. (At first it will take some thought and eventually it will become a habit and essentially the thing that you do and will require no thought. But as I’ve said the best way to form a habit is to make it as easy as possible.) What do I mean? Well here’s an example. Say you live in an urban residential area and you go to the coffee shop every morning. The coffee shop is only a few blocks from your house or apartment and you always drive. Why not walk? It’s awesome to get out in the fresh morning air as the sun is coming up and it really sets a nice tone for the day. That’s an easy and enjoyable decision you made in the span of a less than a second and it even made you feel better for the whole day. Another example would be that you need to go to the mall or the grocery store or something to pick up, that thing that you really need. As you pull into the parking lot you spend ten minutes searching for a spot that’s as close as possible to the store and you curse at other drivers for attempting to pull out of their spots as you’re right behind them. The traffic is so congested it’s starting to stress you out. On top of that there’s some a**hole that’s taking up two or more spots with his huge truck. By the time you’ve found a spot that’s not extremely close, but close enough, you get out of your car and grumpily walk to the store cursing silently at the other people as you walk in. What if you just parked at the end of the parking lot where there are plenty of free spaces, where there’s plenty of room, and where your car doesn’t have the potential of being dinged by the slamming of a car door next to it? Hell, you could even get in a nice little walk to the store in the fresh air and feel the sun and the breeze on your face. An automatic mood booster no? You’ll walk into that store feeling great and you will probably even save money because you didn’t buy something you didn’t need just to make yourself feel better. The decision to park in a quiet spot at the end of the lot took less than a second to make. Essentially, what I’m getting at is that you have to make it easy and enjoyable for yourself to get that extra exercise. Just like forming a habit with diet, or anything else the only way you’re going to stick with it is if you it’s easy and enjoyable. In summary, try to seek out those opportunities where getting a little exercise is easier and more enjoyable than not getting a little exercise and focus on how it makes you feel to get out in the fresh air and take a little 3 or 4 minute walk. Eventually you’ll realize how great it is and as you lose weight you’ll want to get out even more.