Are you someone who is constantly reading motivational quotes on instagram? Maybe you’re subscribed to a bunch of different YouTube channels that are specifically created to get you motivated. Do you watch videos of other people lifting weights to help yourself get motivated enough to go to the gym?
Motivation does NOT EQUAL success. DISCIPLINE is what you need. Here’s the thing..
If you take a look at any successful person out there whether its in the fitness industry, making money, or any other market, you’ll notice one main trait that all successful people share. And that is discipline.
So what is discipline and why is it so important for success?
Self-Discipline: Doing the things that need to get done WHEN it needs to be done REGARDLESS of whether your FEEL like it or NOT.
There has been countless times in everyones way to the top where they just don’t feel like doing anything at all. And I know you’ve felt the same way. Hell, you probably feel like that right now and that’s why you are reading this.
Having discipline is not only important because it helps you stay consistent with your workouts, but it also helps you stay consistent with your diet, career, and relationships.
Imagine that for a whole week you are fired up to go to the gym and follow your diet. You are hitting your workouts with such intensity that you feel like you are unstoppable. You are hitting all your macronutrient goals every day and everything is going your way. But then you look in the mirror a week later and realize that you are seeing no results. You then start to lose that motivation. You are now slowly retracting back into your old habits. You are missing your workouts and eating anything and everything you see because you have not been getting the results you have been hoping for.
Does this sound familiar?
That’s why discipline is a MUST in every aspect of your life. When I first started lifting, I saw immediate results for the first few weeks. Then after a few weeks these results stopped appearing. I was getting discouraged. But I kept pushing through because I knew that consistency is the #1 trait for success in anything you do in life.
What helped me a lot when I was feeling discouraged is having the belief that if I stuck to the process, everything else will follow. You must be process oriented and realize that everything you do is going to be for the better.
You NEED to start creating good habits and having the discipline to stay consistent is not only going to help you get super lean and strong, but it is going to spread through to other parts of your life that will make you a better person overall.
The next time you feel like you do NOT feel like doing something. Whether it’s lifting, tracking your macros, or fasting for the first part of your day, you have to make a conscious decision to simply DO the thing that you have no motivation in doing.
Discipline is a muscle just like everything else in your body that needs to be constantly worked out in order for you to experience the major benefits that discipline can produce.
Common symptoms of having weak self-discipline includes:
- Procrastinating things that are a priority to you (ie. starting your side business)
- Not being motivated enough to stick to your workouts.
- Difficult getting out of bed.
- Finding yourself watching TV for hours when you know there are things that need to get done.
- Eating when you’re bored.
- Hitting the snooze button multiple times before finally getting out of bed.
- Switching from one workout program to another constantly.
- Lack of consistency in a diet
So let’s assume that you want to start building your discipline muscle.
This is what I have done and what I recommend YOU to do in order to build your discipline muscle:
- Pick just ONE habit that you want to focus and improve on. This could range from exercising every day, to writing every day, or eating less junk food. Whatever it is, make sure you have a clear and concise picture of what it is you want to improve on.
- Write down this one habit you are working on and put it somewhere you can see it EVERY DAY. I personally have been focusing on writing every day because it is a habit with plenty of benefits. I actually taped a piece of paper that says in huge letters, “Write 1000 words a day” and I placed it right in front of my desk where I can see it every. single. day. Yours can say “Work out for 30 minutes a day” or “Eat a salad a day”
- Start SMALL. This is so important especially when you are new to the art of habits and discipline. You don’t want to set such large goals that it is almost impossible for you to reach. If you are new to exercising, then I would start by setting your goal as doing any form of exercise for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. That’s only an hour and a half a week! The key is to not miss a single one of those work outs.
- Record your progress. You have to be recording the progress you are making. What I mean by this is you must hold yourself accountable to this discipline every day. My recommendation is to buy a large calendar and cross off every day that you worked on that ONE habit with an X. This will create a habit loop that will help you stick to improving on your habit.
- DO IT FIRST THING IN THE MORNING! I can’t emphasize how important this actually is. There is science to back this up stating that you have a lot more willpower first thing in the morning. This means that you NEED to be channeling all this energy upon waking up on the ONE habit you are developing. If you observe anyone who has been focusing on improving their discipline, you will notice that they wake up early and get all of their work done first thing in the morning.
By following those steps, you WILL improve your discipline by focusing on one habit at a time. It is so crucial to only focus on one thing at a time and to do it very first thing in the morning each and every single day.
When I first started on my fitness journey, it was so hard for me to actually get myself to get up and go to the gym to work out. Once I did more research on what it takes to create a habit, I began to work out first thing in the morning every day.
Now that exercising has become a habit to me, I no longer work out first thing in the morning. I actually like to hold off my work outs later on into the evening after I have gotten my work done for the day.
So what do habits have to do with discipline?
Creating a good habit that you can stick to is what develops your discipline muscle.
The fascinating thing is, once you have developed ONE habit, it becomes that much easier to develop another one.
I personally recommend using fitness as a way to create your very first good habit. This is because you can actually see the tangible results through exercising.
Once exercising became a habit to me, it actually became enjoyable and I no longer have to think about whether I am going to the gym on a certain day or not. I hit my workouts whether I feel like it or not and the resistance that I feel has become almost non-existent.
- Self-Discipline: Doing things that need to get done WHEN it needs to get done whether you FEEL like it or not.
- If there is ONE thing you can get out of this article, you need to realize that becoming disciplined is a journey just like everything else in life. It doesn’t happen overnight and it is your duty to increase your discipline MUSCLE by focusing on ONE habit at a time and working on it every day.
- The most successful people in any given field has tremendous discipline. Successful people work on the things that they need to get done whether they are in the mood to do it or not.
- Some say it takes 30 days to make something a habit, others 66 days. The fact is, everyone is different and it is different for everyone. The only way you will truly know if you have turned a certain thing into a habit is if you can do the certain thing each and every day without thought and if you can do it whether you feel like it or not.
- Start small with your journey to becoming self-disciplined. Pick just ONE habit to focus on at a time and make sure you do it every day.
- It is OKAY to mess up every once and a while. It is okay to miss a day working on a specific habit, but DON’T miss two days in a row. You might as well just start all over again if you do.
Just remember, once you have created ONE habit, it will be that much easier to create another. When you are first starting out, you will feel a lot of resistance and this is completely normal.
Relating back to fitness, if your goal is to get lose fat and get lean, you should focus on hitting 3 strength training workouts a week and on the off days, just do any form of simple activity such as walking or light stretching. If you can cut carbs out and eat a low carb high fat diet at the same time, you’ll see results very quickly.