How do I become more disciplined?
Discipline is one of the lesser talked about factors when it comes to health and fitness, but it is a question that I get asked a lot because many people know what they need to do to get the results that they want, but lack the necessary discipline to apply it daily. There are an unlimited resources available for training programmes and nutritional information which are all excellent, but only if we use them! How then do we find the necessary discipline to get the results we want and is it something that we can work on and improve?
The good news is that, yes, even the least disciplined amongst us can learn to be more disciplined with just a few simple techniques. ‘Discipline is the difference between choosing what you want now and what you want more’ and, unfortunately, what we want now normally wins. The only way to apply discipline then is to have a clear, strong and unwavering idea of what you want to achieve. Almost everyone will have applied discipline to their life in many different areas, but struggle when it comes to health and fitness because the outcome is not clear enough. We want a specific job, we put in the work. We want an exam grade, we study hard. Health and fitness is too broad an area, so we do not have the same focus. We need to set a specific goal and go after it.
Once we have a specific goal we then need to plan out what we need to do to achieve it. Too often we just wing it and this in itself shows a lack of discipline and commitment. Making a plan allows us to take control of the situation and take the necessary steps towards our goal as well as demonstrating our long term commitment to them. Of course, we still need to execute on the plan, which we will discuss in just a moment, but the plan is the first step. Without it, we are already set up to fail.
Finally, executing on the plan is the next big step. How do we find the discipline to stick to the plan we have laid out and to achieve the specific goals that we want? The honest answer, stop making excuses. We make excuses every single day to cheat on our plan, giving ourselves a free pass to choose what we want now, instead of what we want in the long run. The excuses we make are varied and lengthy, but most of them are just an easy out. It is easier to drink at the weekend than not. It is easier to eat the cake than say ‘no thanks’ and it is easier to skip the workout than do it. Of course, occasionally there are legitimate excuses, but they do not occur every single week and if we are disciplined these legitimate excuses wont hold us back from our long term results. However, our daily excuses will and that is what really makes the difference. Ultimately, to be more disciplined, we need to be willing to make some sacrifices and stop making excuses.
The 4321 Method®