One Shot

Creating Self-Discipline

Written by: Courtney Ford

People often say that motivation doesn’t last.
Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.

The story always starts out the same. New Years comes around. We have a whole slew of goals we MUST complete in 2015. We want to eat better. We want to quit smoking. We want to lose the 20 lbs we gained from the holidays. We want to train for a new race. We want to be better people.

The story always ends the same. Two weeks later, we’re “over our new years resolutions” and we would rather sit on the couch, curl up in a ball and watch re-runs of Friends, or push off the goal to quit smoking and save it for another year – anything to stay inside just a few moments longer or to enjoy the dopamine dump that that extra scoop of taco dip gives us.

I get it. It’s cold out. The lack of sun doesn’t help. The couch sounds way too good. And comfort is way more appealing that discomfort. Personally, I just want my feet warm. Warm feet equals staying in UGG boots, not CrossFit Nanos.  Staying in my UGG boots equals not working out. For me, that’s not an option. I’m creating a human. A human that will someday rely on me to properly pick them up from the floor, run them around to soccer practice (or whatever the little guy choses to do), to run around the house playing with nerf guns and to in general be active with them. If I don’t stay active, those activities will become extremely difficult and non-existent.

Self-Discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:

• Work on an idea or project after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away

• Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV

• Wake up early to work on yourself

• Say “no” when tempted to break your diet

A few things that help me stay on track and hold myself accountable when motivation lacks are:

  1. Writing myself a mission statement – take the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. When I start to lack motivation or would rather do something else, I reassess my goal sheet and remember WHY they started off as goals in the first place.

  2. Write down your progress – measuring your progress throughout a journey is the best way to stay committed.

    For example, if your goal was to get 50 DUs in a row.
    Day 1, you couldn’t even jump rope
    Day 10, you could finally do single jump ropes
    Day 30, you’re able to get one double under
    Day 60, you’re able to string two or three double unders together

    You could easily get discouraged because you think after 60 days you should be able to string more together – but if you look back on your progress from day one and realize you could barely jump rope, this would be enough motivation to me to keep working hard!

  3. Internally committing yourself – it’s not enough to write out your goals. You must start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do. No hitting the snooze or having one last cheeseburger – learn to say NO. Constantly ask yourself the question, “Will what I’m doing right now, make me better and help me accomplish my goal?” If the answer is no, rethink what you’re doing.

  4. Visualize your goal – accomplishing our goals does not come easy. There’s a lot of moods and powerful forces that make us work against our goals. Putting up quotes/pictures up in our bathroom, on our mirrors, in the shower, in our phones, in our cars, and in our camera rolls gives us a daily visual, which makes us more likely to achieve it. Constant reminders are KEY.

  5. Always reassure yourself – self talk is GOOD (sometimes)!
    “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”

Visualizing our goals puts it at the top of our priority list every day. If you take nothing else from this article, take that. Visualize. Visualize. Visualize.

Now, who’s ready to commit themselves to their goals? It’s time to be better people.