Self Discipline, The Magic Pill

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There really is no magic pill for getting in shape, getting that perfect body, getting strong enough or fast enough to compete. However, there is something that is effective and it is called: self-discipline.

Self discipline is the only quality that truly gets long-term success in every area of life. Relationships, work ethic, diet, fitness and a myriad of other things all require self-discipline to in order to have the best chance of success and long lasting success at that. It is the number one trait needed to accomplish any goal, to lead a healthy lifestyle and in the end be happy.

According to a 2013 study by Wilhelm Hoffman, people with high self control are happier than those without. The study suggests that people who are self disciplined are more adept at dealing with conflicts when it comes to goals. The self disciplined spent less time struggling with indulging in behaviors detrimental to their health and did not allow their choices to be managed on impulse or feeling. Instead they were able to make positive more informed, rational decisions more easily and quickly without feeling overly stressed or upset.

The good-news like pharmaceuticals and diet pills you can get self-discipline. But it comes more in the DIY (Do It Yourself) kind of variety. It is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition daily. Establishing this type of regimine will allow to live a happier more fulfilling life, making healthy choices not emotional ones. Get control of your life by making simple changes to your everyday routine.

An article in Forbes written by Jennifer Cohen suggests these 5 methods for gaining self-discipline:

  1. Remove temptations. Out of sight. Out of mind. Removing temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve self discipline. i.e. toss the junk food. Turn off your cell phone. Remove clutter from your desk or your home. Designate a clear area for fitness. Block distraction websites like Facebook, Youtube, even e-mail.
  2. Eat regularly and healthily. Low blood sugar is not your friend. We’ve seen the Snickers commercials. There is some merit to those. When you are hungry, your ability to concentrate suffers, you become grumpy and pessimistic. Often you will feel a weakened sense of self control in all areas of your life – diet, exercise, work, relationships..Stay well fueled through the day with healthy snacks and meals every few hours. Focus on your goals not your stomach.
  3. Don’t wait for it to “feel right”. “When a behavior becomes a habit, we stop using our decision-making skills and instead function on auto-pilot”. Changing up your routine will feel wrong at first. You mind will resist. Just like learning to do something with your off hand it will feel uncomfortable at first but keep with it will become natural.
  4. Schedule breaks, treats & rewards. When practicing self control and self discipline think in terms of training your body physically. Schedule breaks and specific breaks. Set up targeted practice. Set up rewards for yourself. Working on controlling your spending? Allow yourself a $25 splurge at the mall on Sunday. Leave the credit cards at home and bring cash only. Trying to lose weight, reward yourself with a massage after a month of making all your gym trips. Learning self-discipline is hard. Reward yourself.
  5. Forgive yourself and move on. There are going to be good days and bad days, ups and downs, success and failures. The reality, probably more failures than successes. When you encounter a setback, acknowledge it and what caused it and then get right back in the saddle and move on.

 

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Getting Myself Back On A Plan

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I was seriously burnt out on all fronts. Life and work became so stressful I lost my focus. Basically I’ve gotten out of shape. Most of my friends say I am not out of shape but to my standards yes I am. I’m carrying an extra 11-12lbs of weight and about 8-9% extra body fat as I enter mid June of this year.

What I’ve learned is that the simplest things can interfere with my goals. I went through a crappy break up after a year of a relationship that was draining me emotionally and physically.

I also learned that maintaining a proper diet is not as hard as I thought but not sticking to it is easy. Most of the diet changes I had I started stayed in tact but I struggled mostly with portion control and allowing myself too many store bought meals.
I had to relearn that I have to put myself first. I had grown comfortable with going to work, going to the gym, coming back home to study, and prepare for the next day. All of that fell out of sync when I started to want to avoid home.

I learned that I don’t like running distances more than 6-7 miles. 5k to 10ks are appropriate for me.

I learned that it is really hard to not let other people influence you and your program.

I also learned that it is important to associate yourself with people who have similar goals and objectives even if they are not on the same plan.

Beware of people who want to support you but sabotage your plan by trying to do your plan instead of their own.

I remembered why I started to get myself back in shape.

I learned so much and had have so many experiences I don’t know where to begin again but I do know I miss the feeling of my body feeling in great shape.

As I lay on the beach today observing people around me I am reminded of the things I like and love to do in life. It’s time for me to reenter that world of self discipline and get myself back on track.

This time I am going to try to be completely transparent in my struggles and my achievements here. This time I will allow everyone around me to hold me accountable openly and in the eye of the public.