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Excuse Buster: Charging up your willpower

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: It’s a new year and a new opportunity for a new you, so let’s wipe that slate clean and start afresh. It’s just like we said to ourselves last year… and the year before that… and probably the one before that, too.

For those of us who fall off the wagon: what is it that stops us from reaching our fitness goals?


Moreover, what stops us from achieving our new year’s resolutions, or success in general?

We all kind of know the answer already. It’s a matter of willpower. You want to do the right thing, you want to go to the gym and you want to eat healthy foods, but it’s so easy to quickly grab a takeaway, or say “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” or “I’ll do it later”.

What most people fail to realize is that they haven’t given up because they’re lazy and didn’t go to the gym, and it’s not that they didn’t want it enough so they opted to grab fast food instead of cooking a wholesome meal.

It’s because willpower is a limited resource, like the battery on a mobile phone. Each morning the battery is fully charged, and as the day goes on it starts to run down as you do things like resisting the urge to check Facebook when you should be working.

The same goes for exercising willpower: grabbing a somtam salad when you fancy French fries, or holding your tongue when your boss blames you for his own mistakes, or even keeping your road rage in check when someone cuts you off in heavy traffic at Chalong Circle.

Limited resources must be managed, yet we fail to see that to stay on track and do the right thing our willpower is one of those resources. Many of us jump head first into the deep end of diet and new fitness regimes, as though our supply of willpower were endless.

We lose our willpower not because we think about it, but because we neglect to think about it. We don’t appreciate that it can come and go, but it does exactly that.

Everyday events can hack away at your battery life of willpower if you aren’t careful to manage it.

When it comes to the important decisions of the day, the life left in your battery of willpower will help you make the right decision.

Luckily, willpower is a renewable energy. So every morning when you wake up with a charged battery – how full it is will depend on your quality of sleep – you should start with your most important and hardest tasks first.

For example, if your new year’s resolution is to get in shape and get fit, you will find it a lot easier to get out of bed earlier so you can go to the gym before work than you would going to the gym after a full day’s work.

Another perk? The quality of your work will be better.

Krix Luther is a fully qualified personal trainer with a decade of experience specializing in strength and conditioning. For information, visit

— Krix Luther


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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