5 Easy Steps to Be More Self-Disciplined
Discipline is something we think we either have or we don’t. Too easily we focus on the areas where we ‘lack’ self-discipline, which only makes us feel worse about ourselves, which can lead to us being even less self-disciplined. However, self-discipline is something that can be trained. Like a muscle - if you train it, it will grow.
More than that, it’s something you can have in your back pocket for whenever motivation drops. By strengthening self-discipline, you can stay on track, even as the motivation drops. Whether you're aiming for fitness, diet or general health-and-wellbeing goals, self-discipline, the good news is that becoming more self-disciplined doesn't require sacrificing your lifestyle. In this blog post, I offer five easy steps to help build that discipline muscle so you can stay committed to your goals.
Step 1: Finish What You Start
One common hurdle people face is not finishing what we start. This can be a long-term aim, like joining a gym and only going a few times, or even something short-term like cutting your workout short because of a phone call, or ‘urgent’ email! Too often people start something as they mean to go on but quickly fall out of habit. One key way to combat this is to set realistic goals. Instead of going straight in to do an hour-long intensive workout, start with a 15 minute one. Once you’ve done 15 minutes for a week, push it up to 20 minutes. The more short-term achievable goals you hit, the more you’ll realise what you’re capable of.
Step 2: Plan Ahead
Planning is a key element of self-discipline. Without a plan, it's easy to fall back into old habits. For example, if you're looking to make healthier food choices, prepare your meals for the week ahead on a Sunday. This not only saves you time during the week but also incentivises you to stick to your healthier eating goals so you don’t waste food. When you have healthy meals ready, you're less likely to reach for fast food or unhealthy snacks, and you’ll have more time to enjoy other things throughout the week.
Step 3: Design Your Environment
Your environment can have a significant impact on your self-discipline. If you're trying to reduce sugar or junk food consumption, make it easier for yourself by modifying your surroundings. Start by avoiding stocking your cupboards with tempting treats. Instead, replace them with healthier snacks or keep the unhealthy options out of sight. This small change can help reduce the temptation and make it easier to stick to your nutrition goals.
Step 4: Progress, Not Perfection
It's important to understand that self-discipline isn't about being perfect all the time. Everyone has setbacks and bad days. The key is not to beat yourself up when you deviate from your goals. Instead, give yourself a break and remind yourself you’re allowed days off - it’s not the end of the world to reach for a chocolate bar every now and then - then pick back up when you feel ready to. Acknowledge your progress, no matter how big or small, and re-centre yourself in your goals - it’ll be worth it in the end. Remember, it's the overall trend of improvement that matters most - it’s not about being 100% every single day.
Step 5: Reward Yourself
Finally, don't forget to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small you think they may be - they’re always going to be better than you could do if you weren’t doing it! Small progress each day is better for long-term success than sudden big changes. If you've managed to stay on track so far, give yourself a treat by going out for dinner with friends, socialise, and take a moment to reflect on how far you've come. These rewards not only acknowledge your efforts, but also provide the motivation to keep pushing you forward.
Becoming more self-disciplined doesn't mean sacrificing your lifestyle; it means making choices that align with your goals and sticking to them.
A really helpful way to stick to your goals is to work with an online personal trainer. I offer 1-2-1 online personal training with my own
app, as well as in-person coaching. With my expertise I can guide you to reach your fitness goals and help you realise what you’re capable of. The more your confidence builds, the more you’ll realise what you had in you all along - you are self-disciplined, and you are self-motivated and can reach any goal you choose to set for yourself! Remember, discipline is a muscle you can strengthen, and it will grow with time and effort.