There are two very powerful muscles in the body that are not part of our muscular/skeletal system, but equally important when it comes to reaching our dieting goals or sticking with our fitness plan. These two muscles are mind-muscles. They are our will-power and our self-control – both, empowering forces behind change.

Just as proper exercise strengthens the muscles in our body, recent studies reveal that our self-control and will-power are muscles that can be chiseled and strengthened as well.

When temptation strikes and threatens to destroy our healthy eating plan or exercise program, it’s our will-power and self-control that kicks in.

Here’s 4 strategies that help boost willpower and self-control:

Build Your Brain Power

The gift of visualization is powerful, but only if we use it!

When we visualize how we want our body to look, it will help us to make healthier choices concerning both our eating habits and activity levels. And, like any other muscle, the more we engage this powerful visualization technique, the more powerful it becomes.

Boost Your Will-Power – Find a nice quiet spot where you are alone. Sit with you eyes closed and count your breaths. When you reach 10, start over. Should your mind wonder (and it will, especially in the beginning), start at 1 again. Once you are able to repeat this a few times with success, swap out counting breaths, for that image of how you want your body to look.

Be a Skeptical Dreamer

When reaching for your goals, are you: Are you a wishful thinker? Do you fantasize about wearing slim jeans or do you just complain about how hard it is to avoid fattening foods at parties and find excuses why you aren’t more active? Both of these mindful attitudes are empowered to derail you, however, research reveals that adopting both angels at once may have the opposite effect!

Truth is, research reveals, that when we imagine succeeding and reflect on the obstacles facing us, we are more inspired to reach goals than those when we do one or the other.

Work Your Will – Do you have weight-loss or get-in-better-shape goals? If so, imagine if you will, how you’ll feel once you slip those skinny jeans on again. Feel how they effortlessly slide over your hips. Hear your family and friends telling you how fabulous you look! Once you’ve felt your way through, think about what your obstacles are. What currently stands in the way of you reaching those goals? Eating junk food because it’s all that’s offered at work? Or possibly, skipping your daily workout because of late nights out?

Play the “What-if?” Game

Plan ahead. If there’s a special event coming up in your life that you know holds extra, challenging temptations, devise a plan B. It helps you to cope with situations that could otherwise undo your strong resolutions. Have a plan B in place before encountering your temptation. This way, you’ll already be in touch with what you want to achieve (such as a slim, healthy body) before the challenge arrives. Having a what-if plan in place helps you to stick to healthier choices and overcome temptations when the situation is in front of you.

Work Your Will – Make a list of possible obstacle you might encounter on your way to fitting into your skinny jeans and create and jot down a what-if plan for sidestepping each one. For example:

Obstacle -eating junk food when that’s all that’s available

Plan – create yummy, healthy meals and snacks ahead of time to take with you

Love Yourself Unconditionally

It’s much easier to get back on track after a moment of weakness when you treat yourself with understanding and kindness. Beating yourself up over it, only causes you to feel bad about yourself and takes you down a negative path.

Work Your Will

Most people have no idea of how critical their inner-talk really is. Learn to be your best friend. Start a list of the things you repeatedly say to your self when you fall short of your goals or slip up briefly. Rewrite this script as though you are talking to a friend.

In the end, one thing remains the same for all of us – our mindset is leading the way so its mindset that needs addressing first.

It’s time to take command of your life…emotionally, physically and mentally.

Reclaim Your Longevity can help you do just that…

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit:

Carolyn Hansen Fitness