If you want to know how to discipline yourself and achieve your fitness goals it’s firstly important to remember that motivation, although good to have, isn’t that important.
Motivation runs out.
One of the hardest things I’ve found about losing weight and maintaining my healthier, fitter lifestyle is staying disciplined. Changing your lifestyle completely isn’t easy and takes a whole lot of dedication and motivation.
Success is achieved by pushing yourself even when your head, heart and body don’t want to be pushed. It’s having the discipline to wake up in the morning saying “I will do this” and meaning it when all you really want is another 5 minutes in bed.
Breaking patterns adapted from a lifetime of unhealthy habits is a hard task. Bad habits give you instant gratification. Good habits give delayed gratification. You know which one’s best in the long run. It’s just implementing the changes.
Maintaining healthy habits is vital to creating long-term satisfaction and feeling achievement, but if you are not disciplined or dedicated you’re not going anywhere.
Going into self-improvement with a positive mental attitude is the first step to change but, there are many other ways to start implementing little differences.
The people you see on the front of fitness magazines or on your Instagram feed, these guys/girls don’t get their bodies from motivation alone, but from hard work and discipline.
And if you want to know how you can discipline yourself and achieve your fitness goals then follow my 6 top tips!
6 Tips To Help You Discipline Yourself
1. Create lists
keeping lists are one of the best ways of staying disciplined and on track. At night before you go to bed, write a list of all the tasks you need to complete the next day. Give them a timescale and arrange them in priority order.
Making the lists realistic is important but it does help to be a little optimistic.
You could even try using a gym specific list book to help you stay disciplined.
Remember to use the SMART format when goal setting.
and review them regularly.
2. Set alarms
Nobody likes waking up at 6 AM, but sometimes you have to. Going to bed with the “dreaded” thought of waking up early is a sure way to wake up badly. Try imaging every morning you’re going on holiday. Going to bed with the excited feeling for the next day helps you wake up raring to go. Tell yourself, before falling asleep you want to wake up ready and alive.
You might want to try using a daylight lamp alarm to help discipline your mornings.
Waking up early gives you more time to achieve your fitness goals and has a positive benefit on both productivity and state of mind. One search on Google will tell you that many successful people feel the same. A head start in the morning increases productivity, timeliness, and gives you extra minutes for exercise and breakfast.
3. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself needs to match your goals. Eating a giant McDonalds to reward yourself for losing 7LBS is counterproductive and pretty plain stupid. What’s the point in learning how to discipline yourself and achieve your fitness goals if you’re just going to do that?
Reward yourself healthily. Don’t waste your efforts in the gym on reckless behaviour.
What can you do?
I found the best way to reward myself for fitness achievements is to buy new gym clothes. It coincides with my goals. New gym wear = more time wanting to go to the gym = hitting goals = new gym wear.
Check out some of the gym wear on my “I stayed disciplined and achieved my next fitness goal” wish list
4. Remove temptation
If it’s not there, you won’t think about it.
“Out of sight, out of mind”
If you have a tenancy to binge on biscuits while watching the soaps – don’t buy biscuits.
If you end up eating the whole multi pack of crisps – buy just one pack instead
Removing the temptation provokes your mind to find an alternative. If you keep a healthy home, that alternative will be healthy and align with your fitness goals.
Having discipline when it comes to food is probably one of the hardest things, but I’ve found drinking a protein shake like this before I get too hungry really beneficial – plus a high-protein diet really aligns with fitness goals.
It’s not just food. Alcohol, smoking, any bad habits that you can be tempted by should be removed from sight and mind.
5. No excuses
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me”
“Fake it till you make it”
We tell ourselves we’re changing, but when do we actually do it. Excuses like “I just didn’t feel well today” “I didn’t have time to exercise”. Make time.
Stop lying to yourself. You know you probably had the time to fit a 40-minute exercise into the day. Did you really feel ill? It will be you that suffers from your excuses. It’s your success…
“It has been said that if people put as much energy into achieving their goals as they spend making up excuses for failure, they would actually surprise themselves.”
Stop the excuses.
Why not stick a motivational quote in your kitchen and read it every time you start to lose your discipline.
6. Forgive yourself
If you follow all of the above you shouldn’t need this, but sometimes we all slip-up. Nobody is perfect. I’ve had many slip-ups, many nights beating myself up, regretting the choices I’ve made. Sometimes the road feels too long. We fall off and we have to pick ourselves up and start all over again.
Everyone makes mistakes. Breathe. Move on and keep trying.
Dust yourself off and sicipline yourself to achieve your fitness goals by trying again!
Don’t give up on yourself.
For further reading on self-discipline, I highly recommend Brian Tracey’s the Power Of Self-Discipline. It’s a book that’s really helped me with my organisational and developmental needs.