You might have heard us talking about the difference between motivation and discipline.
Motivation is fleeting; there is no way to be motivated 24/7, no matter how excited you are to reach a specific goal.
There are going to be days you don’t feel like going to the gym, that you feel like ordering a pizza for dinner instead of making something at home, that the thought of drinking your bodyweight in water feels like the biggest feat of all time.
Discipline is what gets us to do the things we need to do when we just don’t feel like doing them. It’s defined as: train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
So the big question is: How do you develop better discipline?
To be perfectly blunt, it takes time! If you haven’t been disciplined in certain aspects of your life it is very unlikely that that discipline will come overnight. Sometimes motivation can hit us for an extended period of time and make us feel like we’re disciplined… only to have that come to a screeching halt and feel like we have no desire to do anything again.
Don’t expect too much too fast.
One of the first mistakes we see when it comes to becoming more disciplined is trying to bite off more than you can chew.
For instance: Going from not exercising at all and never cooking a meal at home to expecting to exercise 7 days a week and eat nothing but meat and vegetables at every meal.
If we want to truly change our habits for good we need to start at a reasonable pace that allows us the time to have small wins day to day.
Have clear goals.
Vague goals like “getting healthy” or “workout more” can make it hard for us to take action because they don’t give us clear enough guidelines. For instance, you make the goal of working out 3 times a week. From there you get more specific: I’m going to workout every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, which gives us little wiggle room.
Vs: No clear guidelines which can lead to us putting off exercise until the next day… then the next day… then the next day…
Don’t expect to feel like it. As soon as you stop waiting to ‘feel like’ it to do the things you need to do, the more often you will do them and the easier it will become. Part of becoming more disciplined means getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Identify obstacles before they happen.
Let’s say you’re trying to start a new workout routine after work, but you know you have a really hard time leaving the house after you get home. What can you do to get ahead of that obstacle? Could you go straight to the gym after work? Could you put your gym clothes out in the morning and change in to them as soon as you get home? Have a pre workout snack made?
Planning ahead and staying in front of obstacles is a great way to overcome them.