“There are no short cuts to any place worth going.” ~ Beverly Sills
What do you think of when you hear the word discipline? Perhaps you think about getting in trouble or being scolded by your parents when you were growing up, while your parents thought of what they were doing as training you to behave a certain way so that your actions later in life would be of a positive nature.
Most of us wouldn’t have gotten very far without discipline. Both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints wouldn’t have made it to the Super Bowl without the power of discipline – not only as individual players, but as a team. Each player definitely has their own talents and abilities, but without discipline as a team, they might be like an octopus on roller skates. I love this quote by H. Jackson Brown: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
And so it is with exercise, we need discipline that says “I will go for a walk tonight; I will make it to the gym; I will keep my appointment with my personal trainer; I will go even if I may feel tired or if I have other stuff I’d rather do.” You will always have something better to do, something that is more fun or seems more urgent. This is where self-discipline comes in as it pertains to lifestyle changes such as keeping fit, establishing healthy eating habits, losing weight or maintaining a workout program.
You see, your flesh has a mind of its own, and it will give you a million excuses why you shouldn’t do something. The trick is to create mental toughness so that your mind is in control and you train your body to follow suit. When you discipline your mind, you allow yourself to achieve much more than you think you are capable of. How do you discipline your mind?
- Believe you can change. Throw out the window the negative input others may have thrown at you that has caused you to doubt yourself. Accept that you are an amazing human being and start believing in yourself.
- Listen to your own thoughts of how you see yourself. Are you putting yourself down? Are you saying you can’t, rather than you can? You are the result of how you see yourself, so if you see yourself as beaten down, incapable and undisciplined, then that’s exactly what you’ll be!
- Speak positive affirmations. Everyone wants to be affirmed. If you spend time building others up with your words, why not affirm yourself? Select choice words or phrases and write them down as reminders and speak them daily: when you wake up, while you’re driving, when you go to bed at night – every time you think about it. Don’t give up after a week because you’re not seeing results. Stay positive, discipline or train yourself to continue. It’s that perseverance that will be key in seeing transformation.
Before too long, you’ll see your flesh aligning with your mind and you’ll form habits that will help you attain the results to become a healthier you. These tricks will work not only in creating discipline in your exercise or workout program, but in any area of life where you seek improvement. Once exercise habits are established, you’ll find that being disciplined is even easier than you’d ever imagine, especially since just a couple of the benefits of exercise are mood boosts and a healthier outlook. Creating discipline is a privilege and opportunity – so what are you waiting for? It’s time to exercise your power of discipline!