7 Tips to Improve your Willpower for Crossfit Training & Healthy Eating

Ever struggle with sticking to a healthy diet or keeping those new year training resolutions? The "5 second rule" (number 3) is a life saver!

Early morning workouts, meal prepping, dragging yourself to the Box even when you feel beat and tired, all of these things have one thing in common – they require a lot of willpower! Consistency is one of the most important aspects of training, but how do you train yourself to be consistent and stick to things? The good news is that willpower and self-discipline can be trained and turned into habits.

1. SET SMART GOALS

If you want to be disciplined, you need a “why”. Getting out of bed at 5.45 am for the early morning class takes a lot of willpower, so being able to quantify EXACTLY what this is going to help you achieve will make it much easier to do. You need targets to aim for.

SMART goals are a great way to define your goals, which in turn will give you a ‘why’ for each action you have to do.

SMART goals must be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely
mat fraser crossfit athlete willpower
2016 CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser – Sets goals and sticks to them!

For example, say you want to nail a 200kg Deadlift, a bodyweight snatch or your first pull up. These are all specific, easily measurable, attainable (relative to ability) and relevant to Crossfit. If you speak with your coach, work out exactly what you need to do, how often you must train etc, then you will be able to estimate a date for when you should be able to hit this goal by. Next step is to give yourself a deadline and get on with it.

However, it can often be more complicated than this. What if your new year’s resolution was to “become fitter” or “eat healthier”? As an exercise, try to turn these resolutions into SMART goals and see how you end up describing them. “Become fitter” might mean making sure you go to the Box twice a week. “Eat healthier” may mean stopping eating chocolate from Monday to Friday, or it may mean cutting out refined sugar from your diet. It is up to you to decide.

2. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

Once you have identified your SMART goals, write them down and put them on your wall. Keep writing them down. Even buy a notepad and write down your goals every day. It will only take a minute, but will turn this action into a habit, and ingrain these goals into your life.


mat fraser crossfit athlete willpower © Robbie Wild Hudson

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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.

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