Putting in the Work: How to Stay Self-Disciplined

by Cameron – Thursday, 15. May 2020

A lot of people have what they call a “rock-bottom”, or a time in their life where they feel a level of stress from inaction to fix their own destructive tendencies that result in a changing action. It usually comes from some sort of bad habit, or a tendency to procrastinate. We surround ourselves with excuses for our circumstances and use them as a way to deflect our need for growth.

Fitness and health are essential to us feeling better mentally and physically. At the same time, it is often the thing we have the easiest time deferring when we have added levels of difficulty sustaining it. COVID-19 has been an added challenge to everyone’s lives across the globe, but it can also be a life lesson in self-discipline. For many, there has been no greater obstacle to maintaining strong plans and proper nutrition. We hope we have helped overcome this through our lives streams and added classes, but we understand the difficulty. Whatever you want to achieve is within reach, it just require the right approach. Here are some ways to get you over whatever mountain you might be facing, and get you to the summit of your goals.

Finding Motivation

Sometimes motivation requires realizing what you are doing isn’t working the way you plan. This is okay, but ignoring problems can only make things worse. Taking the step to realize it can bet better through discipline is the first step. The best place to start is through small actions. If you want to build more cardio or become stronger, putting yourself through agonizing pain from the start is not going to help your situation. If anything, you’ll find yourself more discouraged. Take small steps to build from, and keep yourself accountable for pushing through minor discomfort. You’re more likely to stay with the plan much longer than if you try to treat day 1 like day 300. Realize where you want to get to, but don’t feel the need to get there all at once.

It’s also remembering why you want to accomplish your mission. It could be to become healthier for your loved ones so you can support them and set a good example. It could also be for your own benefit of a long and healthy life, or bringing yourself to action on something you once thought not possible. It’s easy to say tomorrow you’ll give it a go, but the best way to start anything is to start today.

Setting Concrete Goals

The best way to hold ourselves accountable is to either write or type what we want to achieve on a daily basis. It takes less than 5 minutes each morning to put down a list of what we achieve in a day. Try to keep your goals believable and achievable. This means putting down goals that are realistic but still push us to grow. If your goal is to dunk a basketball, you can’t just start firing yourself at a hoop 100 times a day. You can, however, put together a daily plan that helps you improve your jumping abilities and strengthen your legs.

Set goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Take an extra hour of your time to put into place not only how you are going to get there, but what your milestones are. Set reasonable deadlines for yourself that help you track your progress and develop a timeline for what you want to achieve.  Most importantly to keeping up with self-discipline is giving yourself affirmation or rewards for reaching said milestones. It’s a long journey to accomplish anything, so make sure you know how special it is that you reach certain points of getting there. We aren’t robots, we don’t reach a certain threshold and immediately look for more. We can enjoy points along the way to our final destination. So take the time to not only build yourself but enjoy the progress you’ve made!

Discomfort Training

Nothing comes easy! We have to step outside our comfort zone to accomplish what we want. If everyone could run a marathon from the first day of training, what would be the point? In order to grow we need to not only set achievable milestones, but be willing to push ourselves further than we would like to. It’s easy to stop, grab a remote, relax, and enjoy some entertaining TV content that satisfies our urges. What makes a goal worth it is pushing past the limits we set for ourselves.

I had a coach who used to run us until I thought my lungs would burst. He would set time limits on when we needed to complete our sprints, and if we did so, the session would end. To our dismay sometimes he would decide that we may be holding back and make us do a few extra sprints. The funny thing is, even though I thought I had given everything I had, we still managed to finish under the times required. The feeling of pain subsides. When your brain says it’s time to quit, there’s always a little extra that the body can endure. If you can find a way to push yourself a little bit each day, things become easier to endure, and the results you feel from that extra push will encourage you to keep trying.

Mindfulness with Urges

Speaking of urges, it is the most human thing that we all have! Whether it’s a few extra helpings of our favorite unhealthy food or a night out consuming more than enough adult beverages, we all want to give in at some point or another. Sometimes we also have the urge to take time off from our ultimate goals. There are a few ways to manage this.

First, make sure for whatever you want to achieve, you set aside the time to do it. If I want to hop on a bike and maximize my power, I need to set a time to do so. Holding yourself accountable during a certain free time of day means we can’t excuse ourselves for any other activity. From X until Y, it is time to work on our goals.

Second, take the time to realize that our other urges don’t need to be followed. Set a period of time where you subtract that bad habit out of your life, even if it is short. More often than not you’ll find that taking it out of the equation was not as difficult as you thought, and may even be a positive life change. The same way we motivate ourselves to grow can help us eliminate the negative things that hold us back.

We can outrun a lot of things in life, but we cannot outrun ourselves. Life has a funny way of catching up to us no matter how hard we work to avoid things. Hopefully, these tips are able to help you to stop, reflect, and put in the work starting today!