Best Technique For Willpower and Making Better Decisions

This article was published on: 10/13/22 9:37 AM

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve been using this OH WELL technique with my students and clients so I wanted to share it with you, too. It helps them with making better decisions.

When I start working with a private client, I ask them a bunch of questions.

Questions like:

What do you want from your training and nutrition program?
What type of health do you want?
What type of physique do you want?

best ways increase willpower

I also ask them how consistent they are with their good health and fitness routines. And I often notice a real struggle with compliance. In other words, we all struggle at times with consistency and fall off the healthy habit bandwagon.

I picked up this technique I’m going to tell you about from Dr. Judith Beck. If you apply it, you’ll succeed at a higher rate of compliance than you ever thought possible with all your healthy habits.


Well, it’s because people have a tendency to waffle back and forth in their nutritional decision making. Indecision sets in, rationalization sets in, and we become tense and opt for poor choices.

Have you ever had this experience?

You’re in a store and you head over to buy something that’s not really in your best nutritional interest. You talk yourself out of getting it and start to walk away.

Then you talk yourself back into buying it and you head in that direction again. I swear, this happened to me one time and I must have walked a mile of indecisive steps! It was like I was at the end of a fishing pole and someone kept casting me out and reeling me in…….over and over and over again.

I’m hoping I’m not the only one who’s gone through something like that!?

OK–where was I? Oh yes, the oh well technique for making better decisions!

So whatever thought you use to rationalize your poor choice, you faced a moment of weakness and the weakness won you over. But because you’re an aware and self correcting model of good self esteem, you see the err of your ways and don’t want to repeat them.

That’s where the oh well technique comes into play.

Here’s what you do for making better decisions.

Each time you’re presented with a food choice that’s not on your plan, instead of debating the merits of the food or justifying “just one bite”, instead of talking yourself into making a poor decision, simply repeat the phrase:

“Oh Well, it’s not on my plan.” Then shrug your shoulders and move on and get busy doing something else like making better food choices, reading a book, talking with a friend, that sort of thing.

Yes, it’s a simple phrase but it won’t be easy in the beginning. However, it is a powerful way to take back your power over your decision making.

One of my clients is a diabetic and needs to avoid high sugar foods. She’s having great success with this technique.

Another client entered a fat loss contest at work and she’s using the Oh Well technique to work her way towards the $1000 prize.

When you practice the Oh Well technique long enough, it becomes automatic and you won’t think twice about it. It’ll happen silently and you get to be in control.

Do remember to shrug the shoulders and act it out. Shrugging the shoulders helps release the tension that comes with making decisions.

If you’re someone who trades what you want most (like abundant health, or a fit and trim body) for what you want at the moment, try this technique.

If this phrase doesn’t work for you then pick one of your own like thanks anyway, or no thank you. The idea is to turn your nutritional decision making into a “no big deal”
proposition so that you come out on top and get the results you

PLEASE…….I can’t wait to hear about all the fun you have with this idea. Making better decisions has so many positive effects. Do email and let me know how it works. I’ll create a post with real life stories from you all, so do give it a try!

If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.

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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.


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