Here's a motto we can live by. Often when the temptations of life start to overwhelm us, it is helpful to just stop and remember; by REFUSING what we know is wrong, we BECOME stronger. Each time you pass up a piece of pizza when your children are enjoying theirs you are building your willpower muscle! Every time you choose not to indulge in a Coke at work you are building your willpower muscle! There are of course many ways to help build this muscle:
- Recognize your own personal weak areas. If you are tempted by alcohol and don't know when to draw the lines, don't hang out in places that serve alcohol. I know this sounds so elementary, but it works!
- Replace your “I can't” with “I choose not to” this one habit alone will help you become so much more aware of the choice you are about to make, and with whom the responsibility lies!
- Get better / more sleep. I know this sounds crazy but when you are operating on a good night's sleep, you are just going to make better choices!
- Prayer. Plain and simple. Ask Him for help.
- Accountability can really be important for some of us, enlist the help of a trusted friend or relative to talk you through it when temptation strikes. Be honest!
- Postpone it. Tell yourself that if you still want whatever it is in an hour (a day, a week, a month, whatever works for your particular temptation) then you may indulge. This has helped me with the temptation to buy all sorts of things, leather jackets, nice artwork, trips to China!
- Exercise can really change your perspective, believe it or not. Sometimes when I am particularly tempted to consume a food that I know I should not be indulging in, it helps me to spend 20 minutes on the elliptical machine to regain focus and distract myself. After burning a few calories, I'm not quite as tempted to add more to my daily total!
- Proper nutrition. Think oily fish, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dark green leafy veggies, avocado, and supplements. Feed your brain. If you can't find a good source of Fish Oil, then consider supplementing with Krill oil.
By using these methods, our ability to refuse what is wrong becomes greater. We grow stronger. How do you avoid or refuse temptation? Leave your ideas in the comments below!