Most fitness experts will tell you that the secret to a successful workout routine isn’t how strong or fit you are. Much of it comes down to willpower. Here’s what that could look like in your everyday life. 

Want to have a BAD day? 

If so, keep asking yourself the same old questions you always do.  Bore yourself day in and day out by repetitive thinking.  

We ask ourselves question after question all day long.  

Do I want to hit the snooze or get out of bed now? 

What am I going to eat for breakfast?  

Can I wear these sweats again or are they dirty? 

Willpower is the secret to a long-lasting fitness regime. Harper takes his workout on vacation with him.

Do you know what is happening as you ask yourself questions?  You are draining your WILLPOWER. The basic definition of willpower (also called self control, self discipline, or self regulation) is the ability to control one’s emotions, desires, and actions. Recently there’s been a wealth of research on this topic, and the evidence shows that in many ways, willpower works like the muscles in your body.  Each of us has a given amount of willpower per day.  It is a limited quantity that fluctuates from person to person.  For some people, willpower is freshest in the morning (early birds), while others feel that their willpower switches on later in the day, peaking in the evening hours (night owls).  But whatever type you are, your willpower, like your muscles, depletes as you use it, but with the right questions you can also build your willpower stamina. 


Self-control is diminished by more than tempting foods. Your willpower can be drained by many things: lack of sleep, controlling your temper (suppressing emotions), forcing yourself to laugh at an unfunny joke (expressing false emotions), sitting through tedious meetings (practicing patience) or pushing yourself to keep working when you are tired. These struggles will deplete your self-control temporarily, but practicing them in the right amounts has long-term benefits. 



Willpower is increased over time by exposure to stress, just like a muscle. For example, turning down the doughnuts at morning meetings may temporarily drain you self-control, but over time, exercising resistance strengthens your resolve, making it easier to turn down future temptations. You can extend and replenish your willpower with a restful night of sleep, with a nap, by practicing meditation, by going for a walk, with breathing exercises, and with positive self-talk. 

Learn how to ask yourself the right questions to get yourself in the best shape of your life.

These 5 questions will jump start you back on track and build your willpower.  

  1. What action can I take today to grow? 
  2. What is one thing I can eliminate from my life that is not moving me forward? 
  3. Can I do or say to someone today to get them to genuinely smile?
  4. Is there anything I can I do to feel more self nourished? 
  5. What can I accomplish on my plate today to make tomorrow more open? 

Good questions inform, inspiring answers TRANSFORM. 

Information leads to TRANSFORMATION. 

-Joel Harper 

Joel Harper is a celebrity fitness trainer to the likes of Dr. Oz. Read his story about HIIT workouts and learn more about him at his website:


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