5 Mandates to Create Self Discipline
Do you lack discipline? Have you recently set a goal or said you wanted to do something and failed? What are your excuses for not hitting the goal? This post isn't about working out and the excuses we use to get out of things we regret not doing, but on our daily discipline to get items done. Now, I am not going to throw stones in my glass house, as I have been one of the worst at making excuses. My whole life I used excuses for little and big things. I'm naturally lazy, just like a majority of the world. I use the I am busy and/or I am tired excuse way too much in my lifetime. I have used the "I wish I would have done that" line more times than I can count. Here is a list of items that I have implemented and what I am going to continue to do, so that I am not an excuse monster in the gym, in my personal life and with my business!
It's only fitting to input a classic Arnold line:
1) Stop hitting the snooze button. Why is that even an option? You made a plan the night before of getting up and getting going in the morning, but you hear your alarm clock and squash your own goal, before it even begins! Most people convey that they are tired and that they need more sleep, so they "sleep in". But the key is, why didn't you go to bed earlier? Was it because of a show that you binge watched or because you were out drinking with friends? Do those items line up with your current goals? If not, get rid of them or do them in moderation. If you go to sleep earlier, you won't miss your morning routine. Showing up and doing something is a million times better than not showing up at all!
2) Get rid of TV shows. Shows are pure enjoyment and give us no educational value and require us to sit while doing so. I have had clients that have removed TV all together from their life, because they would spend endless hours a week watching TV, and they hit goals a lot faster than the rest. The average person in America watches 5 hours of TV a day. The biggest excuse for not working, "not enough time".
3) Change "want" to "need" in your vocabulary to figure out if you really want to get it done. This doesn't apply to materialistic items like a purse or overpriced vehicle. Do you have certain things that you "want" to accomplish? I hear it all day, everyday as a trainer. I "want" to lose 30 pounds, I "want" to be able to do a pull up, I "want" to eat better, etc. These are all great things to want for yourself, but what rules or daily habits are you going to instill, so you can hit that goal? If you start replacing the word "want" with "need", does that make it sound more or less appealing? I "need" to lose 30 pounds sounds more of a necessity. You must have discipline to achieve anything. If you "want" to do a pull up, but don't do anything to help yourself reach that goal, then you really don't "want" to do it. If you say, I need to lost 30 pounds so I can get rid of my diabetes or fit into my clothes, then that sounds more resounding. You have to instill self discipline to do anything, because somebody isn't going to guide you through all tasks in life. That version is imposed discipline. When someone else forces you to do something. Start to instill more self discipline in yourself and progress will happen. Take control of yourself. MAKE yourself do hard things. Things that make you feel uncomfortable. If you go through a workout and you're not uncomfortable, then don't expect change. Usually doing hard things leads to success.
4) Stop trying to convince yourself that you're motivated. Motivation is just a feeling. Motivation can come and go in a second. Motivation doesn't keep you on a path to success. Once again, discipline is what gets you out of bed and gets you working hard on something. Self discipline gets you to hang on that pull up bar or keeps you from shoving that cupcake in your mouth. Motivation is nice to have, but again you can't count on it.
5) Celebrate your victories. This is one of my biggest weaknesses. I go through life looking for the next thing to work on or ask myself "what's next", when something is accomplished. Instead of celebrating a large victory, I move on. I need to live in the moment more and realize that I set a goal and accomplished that goal, so I should be happy with that accomplishment! Now, most people celebrate small victories, which can be terrible for progress. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds and you celebrate losing 1 pound in the first week by dabbling in some terrible food, you wasted that progress. Celebrate when you hit your big goal! A little happiness when hitting a small victory is fine, but don't go overboard. Keep your head in the game, pat yourself on the back and get back to work!