Working Your Willpower

Working Your Willpower

By Debra Atkinson

Willpower comes in limited supply. It’s note worthy to remember working your willpower is beneficial!

It’s just another in a long line of reasons why you should decrease stress. Reducing life stressors helps not only decrease cortisol, it helps you not have to use your super willpowers.

Working Your Willpower

Willpower comes in limited supply. It’s note worthy to remember working your willpower is beneficial!

No matter how disciplined you are, each time you take a chunk out of your willpower armor you risk missing a workout, choosing a fast food option, or simply compromising the positive habits that lead to your success.

You should eat before you go to the BBQ so you won’t be tempted. That’s common advice. It’s not just about hunger and physical desire.

It’s also about willpower, which will be weakened by low glucose levels your brain needs. Restore run-down willpower by restoring glucose levels. That snack of crudités and hummus before you show off the little black dress can just save you unwanted calories of the wrong type.

If you’re driven by internal beliefs and desires about your health choices you don’t have to use as much willpower. If you have to use self-control you’ll be more easily depleted. If you’re allergic to chocolate (I’ll send a card!) and break out in hives, you’re not going to have to use much willpower to say no. Easy peasy for you. Say, you believe that the rich desserts will leave you feeling sapped later you’ll have less of a problem passing them up. If you love your chocolate and avoiding it makes you feel deprived you’re going to call on willpower to pass that dessert table.

Imagine you really love to exercise or you want results yesterday and you’re advised to rest more often or do lighter exercise. You’ll have to use willpower to resist your natural tendency to push it. If this is a foreign concept to you, just know that it does exist!

Driven by internal goals to complete a marathon or triathlon, you can get up early, give up social time, and do the extra laundry.  If you don’t have value in accomplishing that kind of goal and don’t have a coach or compelling reason to do it, your willpower may not last the months of commitment it takes.

Reduce Your Need For Willpower

If you don’t love exercise, do it early. You’ll have fewer obstacles, eat better all day, and get more work done in less time all in a better mood. You also have a full tank of willpower early in the day. Most of us put up with toxic stressors all day we take for granted. Constant interruptions during your work, distracting buzzing or ringing of your cell phone, and walking traffic fountain passing your office door all require a small dose of your willpower in order to focus.

By nighttime, your willpower may be on E. The workout bag in the backseat may be ignored. The dinner out with friends becomes not one but two cocktails. The salmon and steamed veggies become fettuccini Alfredo and cheesecake.

Whatever you’re trying to do make it easier. Whatever you’re trying to avoid, make it harder. Put your workout clothes and shoes out in plain site. Keep the ice cream down the street at the store.

Can you increase your willpower? Even knowing that you have a limited supply, it is possible to increase that limit. Turns out increasing willpower can happen with small things and spill over to other areas. Aim for stretching 5 minutes a day. Cue yourself to do it with an activity that you already do. Every time you … make a phone call or brush your teeth before bed. Coupling a new habit with one you already have makes the reminder come automatically.

Other Willlpower Saboteurs

When you’re low on sleep and or low on energy and brain-boosting glucose your willpower is depleted. That makes trying to finish the project by pushing lunch back an hour or two a bad idea. You’re not going to get your best effort and what you do get will take you longer to produce.

Delayed gratification can increase your self-control (aka willpower). Say, for instance, you look forward to exercise. You know you need to focus on work priorities that are most important to your work success first, while your brain is fresh. You’re not going to skip a workout if it’s been a habit for 30 years. You will lose the ability to focus and concentrate as the day goes on however.  Your most creative juices flow early.

So instead of getting up and exercising first thing as an exercise lover you might work an hour or two first (with a break) and dangle exercise like a carrot. Just putting that off increases your willpower. For optimal productivity try to work in 90-120-minute blocks. Your body has sleep cycles that last about 90 minutes and it turns out it also has wake cycles. Break for a light meal, hydrate, or stretch. Then, 10-minute refresher done, you’ll focus better for another block or exercise. Do less creative tasks later in the day. Meetings, research, and returning emails are things that have to be done but take less creativity go here.


On the other hand, let’s say you’re not in love with exercise yet. (Hater is such a strong word). Setting rewards for exercise that you might have snickered at in the past can increase your willpower. Say your first goal is to walk 20 minutes six days a week. Whether you reward yourself with new iTunes songs to listen to while you walk or a pair of shoes to make it more comfortable to walk that reward matters. It helps you to follow through with a goal that isn’t something easy. The change is the breakthrough you have to make. Like the space shuttle getting through its barrier, you have to launch yourself through the change. Once you do it takes far less energy because you can enjoy the ride. Good nutrition feels good. The right dose of exercise feels good.

Build Your Willpower

1. Couple a behavior you already have with one you want to add to increase your rate of success.

Every time I _________________ I will ____________________.


Talk on the phone… Stand up and stretch

Fill up my car with gas…. Check that I’ve exercised three times in the last week

Do a load of laundry…. Take a short brisk walk during wash cycle

Put dinner in the oven….do a yoga tape or stretch

Clean the house…. Have a high protein smoothie (Personally, I should reverse this one!)

Take a shower…. do ankle mobility exercises

Go to the bathroom… drink a cup of water

Brush my teeth… tell myself today is going to be a healthy day

Drive home from work… stop at the fitness center


2. Add a reward to make the change even more appealing.

Every time I __________________ I will ____________________.


Go for a swim… Spend time in the sauna/steam.

Strength train… Give myself 10 minutes of massage at the end of the month

Perform cardio exercise… add $5 to a fund for new workout clothes

Reach my weekly exercise goal… buy new iTunes songs

Do cardio exercise… watch my favorite TV shows


Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS – Founder & Barely Boomer, Voice for Fitness

About Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS is America’s Boomer Fitness Expert, speaker, and author of Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust. After 30years in the fitness industry Debra committed to making sure women have good choices, real answers and putting an end to the diet and exercise confusion. Her new book, The After 50 Fitness Formula for Females based on her women’s coaching workshops is due out in 2016. Visit Debra at

Makeup Tips and Tricks that Turn Back Time

Makeup Tips and Tricks that Turn Back Time

Makeup Tips and Tricks that Turn Back Time

By Anisa Telwar Kaicker –

Makeup tips and tricks are much different for women in their 50’s. Even at 50 there are makeup tips and tricks that turn back time!

There was once a time when women took steps each night to prolong and extend their youthful looks – sleeping in rollers and hair nets, slathering on the right night cream and using masks to nourish and hydrate the skin. Perhaps that’s why in the 50’s so many married couples slept in separate beds.

Although this nightly ritual was worth the time, effort and dedication, decades later our anti-aging rituals and solutions are more effective and often much simpler.Make-up-tips-and-tricks-300x336

Today there is an increasingly stronger focus on youth and vitality by women of all ages. Even with the significant breakthroughs in anti-aging solutions, however, as we age our lips still become thinner, wrinkles still start to accumulate and cheekbones become less defined.

What most women fail to realize is that it’s not just about the products. By using the right beauty brushes and tools, you can perfect your makeup application and truly make a difference in maintaining a youthful look. Start with a focus on the four main areas of your face.

  1. Skin – As you age, your skin becomes uneven and discolored, but the key to a flawless face is an even skin tone. This can be achieved by using products such as foundations, concealers or primers. With a complexion brush, you can help brighten the skin and soften its texture, giving the skin a healthy glow. When using this type of brush, simply press the product into the skin. By using emollient-based products with color and protection, you’ll attain coverage that is natural yet impactful. Be careful not to slather the product on as that will lead to streaking and missed placement.
  2. Eyes – Eyes should appear to be bright and open, and there are several different steps to achieve this look. First, use a concealer brush and add concealer both above and below the brow, creating a lifting effect. Then add a little bit of color to your brows to give dimension. Next, you want to add concealer under the eyes, giving it time to set before blending it in. Pair all of this with matte shadows on your eyelids to hide darkening and in the corner of the eyes to create illumination.
  3. Cheeks – You can help create the illusion of youthful, lifted cheekbones through contouring. Contour brushes are designed with curves that work with the natural shape of the face, adding depth and dimension. To start, add a foundation that’s a shade or two darker than your skin tone under your cheekbone. Then, highlight the areas you would like to accentuate with a lighter shade. Finish it o by pressing a crème blush under the bone to create fullness and simulate a natural glow.
  4. Lips– As lips thin and fade, it is important to define the lip line and pump up the volume. With a rosy colored lip liner, trace over your natural lip line and fill in the rest of your lips. This causes them to look plumper, but the subtle color of rose maintains the youthful look. Finish it by adding a neutral lip balm on top for added shine and power.


All in all, no anti-aging regimen should replace sound sleep, a good diet and plenty of water. Yet for all the women out there juggling busy lifestyles, these little tips can definitely do their part in making up the difference.


Anisa Telwar KaickerAnisa Telwar Kaicker is the president and founder of Anisa International, a global leader in the design and creation of unique beauty tools and solutions for clients including Sephora, Estée Lauder, Smashbox and more. From its design studio in New York City and office in Atlanta, the company operates its manufacturing plant in Tianjin, China; and sales offices across the U.S., United Kingdom and China.


Fire Prevention Preparedness for Seniors

Fire Prevention Preparedness for Seniors

Fire Prevention Preparedness for Seniors

By Jasmine Dyoco–

Should Fire Prevention Preparedness for Seniors be a REAL concern? I believe it is, if you’re over 54 or you live alone!


Older adults over 54 are at higher risk for fire injury and death for a variety of reasons including slower reaction time, medication that slows them down, and the possibility they live alone and cannot be helped. As such, they need to take many steps to protect themselves in case of a fire and prevent it from happening except in the most extenuating circumstances.

Some steps seniors can take to prevent fires in their homes are:

  • Install an additional smoke alarm in the home and keep them in good shKitchen Stoveape.
  • Wear close-fitting sleeves and shirts when cooking.
  • Do not overuse electrical outlets.
  • Do not leave hot pans unattended.
  • Put lids over stovetops when not in use.
  • Do not smoke around oxygen tanks or in bed.
  • Plan a fire escape from your home or apartment.

If an older adult lives alone, they should talk to their neighbors about their fire escape plans in case a fire breaks out, so neighbors will be able to help them in case they cannot get out. It is also a good idea for older adults to live on the bottom floor or near an exit of apartment building for easier escape during a fire. Be sure to also have emergency providers keep your records on file for special needs, if you have any, in case they need to come out during a fire to your home.


In case of a fire, seniors should have several things prepared so that they are not caught unaware. They should have a phone or a TTY/TDD device next to their bed on a nightstand or end table within reach to call for help. Eyeglass, keys and hearing aids, if needed, should also be on the nightstand for easy access. If you smell smoke and need to access the kitchen or living room, a lamp or light switch should be easily within reach to avoid tripping or failing. Be sure to keep stairs and hallways clear for quick exit during a fire as to avoid getting trapped by burning debris.

To also prepare for a fire or any other disaster, you should post a list of relatives or medical doctors near the phone or on the fridge who should be contacted in case something happens during the fire where you are injured. Any kind of special equipment you use should also be easily accessible for yourself and the emergency personnel to get to you if they need to get inside. Anyone who might need to help you, like nurses, family or neighbors, should know how to find and use these items in case they need to assist you during a fire as well. It is also a good idea to practice your escape plan several times and know more than one escape route in case the first is blocked for whatever reason.


After a traumatic event like a house fire, older adults will often take longer to recover and return to normalcy. Some of the most common signs that people will see and need to be aware of in older adults after a fire include:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Fear of being placed in a senior care facility
  • Withdrawal
  • Apathy
  • Anger
  • Grief

It is important for them to have a strong support network whether it comes from family, neighbors, friends or their local clubs and organizations. If they do not, often seniors will start to decline in health and mental stability, which could lead to hospitalization or other major problems in the long-term. Family members and friends should help them return to their normal routines and be there for them to talk about the experience. The more they work through the trauma, the easier it will be for them to return to normalcy.


Originally posted on Home Advisor.

Joy Journal

Joy Journal

Joy Journal

Editor’s Note:

I’ve always loved the thought of Journaling, wanted to Journal, but never could find the time or what to write about. Finally after all these years God is telling me, “It’s Your Time,Your Destiny” so I jumped on my computer to see if I could find something to help me with this new endeavor!  I found Kathy Bornarth and Your Joy Journal!!! 

Joy Journal

hand writing

It’s amazing to me that when I focus on those small things in life that bring me joy, I feel so much better throughout the day. My attitude and mood are better, I’m nicer to others, and I’m definitely more grateful. The concept of Your Joy Journal helps!

Yes, it sounds so simple when we think about finding joy in our lives, but we often don’t focus on living each day from that perspective. Instead, we go about our daily routines, often rushing and scurrying around like mice trying to get all the cheese before someone else does. We don’t take the time to really notice the beauty we encounter or appreciate the gifts and talents we’ve been given.

What would it be like if you spent five minutes recording the simple joys in life?

Could you take the time in your busy, hectic life to write down a few brief lines of joy in a notebook or notepad?

I challenge you to give it a try and see what happens. I promise it won’t take much effort on your part, and you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s a simple process for getting started:

  • Find a small notebook or mini moleskin and keep it in your purse, in your car, by your bedside, in the bathroom, or on your desk.
  • Take five minutes to jot down three to five joyful moments you experienced throughout the day. They could be as simple as a smile from a friend or as grand as climbing a mountain.
  • Do this each day for at least one week.
  • At the end of the week, answer these questions in your notebook:
  1. What was my mood like this week?
  2. Did I feel more joyful this week?
  3. What did I learn from this exercise?
  4. What did others notice about me this week?
  5. How did I feel physically this week?

There you go! A simple exercise in cultivating more joy in your life. Oh, and for added fun, have your friends and family do this with you. You could even make the exercise an experiment with those around you to see who embraced the most joyful moments.

God has given us so much to be thankful for. Let Him know how much you appreciate everything by NOTICING His gifts to you and writing them down.


Much Joy,