As usual, I have been doing research on ways to help my clients get fitter, leaner, and live better lives. I have been learning about a neglected muscle that will help you get in the best shape of your life. No, you won’t find it on an anatomy chart. This particular muscle belongs in the realm of Psychology, its name is Willpower.
OK no, willpower isn’t an actual muscle but it is a helpful comparison to make. Just like your physical muscles willpower can be either weak or strong, it can get depleted, even injured with over use or trauma.
Weakness in willpower comes from disuse, much like someone who has never done a pull-up finds that pull-ups are hard. Willpower works the same way, if you never had to resist an urge, or struggle to overcome an obstacle then it’s likely that the first time you run into one of life’s difficulties you’d give up fairly quickly.
Likewise, someone who has a good amount of willpower will find that, after use without rest, is likely to be less able to resist temptation later on. We need time for our willpower to rest and recover just like our muscles.
So how do we strengthen or willpower? As you can imagine, there is a lot of research being done on this. Some studies suggest environmental stimulus can help, visual cues like the color blue, or flowers. Other research is looking at your personal beliefs and willpower or your awareness of willpower's effects over you. In any case knowing what my thoughts on muscle growth, you can probable guess what I’m about to suggest to strengthen your willpower. Exercise and recovery.
Willpower is probably the single best and most important thing to work on when trying to get fit. Don’t feel like working out? Don’t fear willpower can get you through! Want to eat better? Willpower's got you there too. Want to take a day off, just veg and eat pizza? OK, but in moderation, you want to help your willpower grow not to into atrophy.