The ability to control or regulate your own behaviour in the face of difficulties, or challenging times is a characteristic which once learnt, will benefit you in a multitude of ways. Discipline creates motivation, habit changes, evidences passion, belief and commitment. Discipline also evidences in my mind, the true inner strength of a human being.
Whether your goal is fat loss and you learn to discipline yourself to leave the biscuit on the side of a coffee cup, muscle gain, through 5.30am weight lifting sessions or maybe you are learning what will benefit you more in life, to make you feel good about yourself, relaxed and healthy, by leaving that party before the last drink, and learning to say no to bad habits.
All of these areas can be interlinked with learning how to invoke self discipline as part of habitual or routine behaviours. Once mastered, the area of self discipline can leave you a happier and more fulfilled human being. But it is by no means an area that comes easily to many.
How many times have you loved with self regret you did something you 'really didn't want to?
Self-discipline is the key to getting out from under many negative little mental habits that keep you miserable. Check out my top tips to help develop the habit of self discipline and become a more warrior like human being.
Avoid enablers. These are people who make it easy for you to perform your self-defeating behaviour. Are your work colleagues always encouraging you to eat cake when they know you suffer with weight and health issues? Does your spouse encourage you to be lazy or negative through their own practices? Knowing who to invoke more assertiveness with is a game changer for disciplined behaviour. Practice assertion. This is the art of saying ‘no’ (politely) of course. Once you get into a habit of doing this you will become better and more confident in knowing when and who you can be flexible with.
Life habits tell us that the more you practice anything, the easier it gets. If you practice sleeping in, it gets easier. If you practice getting up early and fitting that gym session you cant fit in during the day, that gets easier, too. Your brain learns whether you're trying to teach it or not. Habits over time become just that: ‘habitual’. They stay - they last. Good or Bad.
Believe in yourself. The more you believe in your own self power to make decisions and influence the course of your daily life, the happier you will be. Avoid comparing yourself with others. We all like to fit in. But know that embracing difference is actually really cool too. Think of aspirational figures throughout history -they had belief in themselves, they were unique. Seeing yourself away from the crowd will place you in a position of power. Power is what we look for in disciplined behaviour.
Know when to be flexible and when to be iron like. Being strict on every aspect of your life will breed stress if you view this in an unhealthy way. Some areas require flexibility, whilst others will need a tighter handle. This will look different for everyone. My example of this. I have a rule in life never to eat cake, chocolate or what I consider to be unhealthy food in an office environment. This is a blanket rule which never ever breaks regardless of the home made cherry bakewell you wave in front of my face.
Why am I so strict on this? Because I know this could lead to consistently bad habits. Do I eat cake in life- yes of course I do- but I am disciplined about when I eat it. I’ll choose days I have trained or need more calories. This is an example of knowing when to be flexible and when to be made of sterner stuff.
Don't take the ‘all or nothing F**k it approach’. If you slip up don't self loath or let it kill your resolve. If you can't be totally perfect, it doesn't mean you're hopeless; nor does it give you an excuse for giving up. The practice of disciple gets easier. It is a practice so keep going and savour the positive results.