Jaime Filer, Online Editor-In-Chief of Muscle Insider, Canada’s #1 Muscle Magazine, is back to offer even more of her exciting insight into the psychology behind motivation, inspiration, and today’s particular subject: discipline. If you’ve ever struggled with self-discipline, you’re not alone. But the thing about discipline is that it is firmly in your hands how well you do and how far you succeed. Learn how to take the wheel into your hands and get inspired with Jaime’s insights. We’ll let her take it away below!
We’ve all heard the adage, or seen a #fitspo meme with the words, “Discipline is the difference between what you want, and what you want most.”
If you’ve never read that before, then please just take a moment to let it sink in. If you’re already familiar with it, then I’d like to move on, and delve into what discipline REALLY is, and how to harness the power of your will and your mind.
Discipline, or willpower, is NOT unlimited. I repeat: discipline, or willpower, is NOT unlimited. Willpower relies on a finite amount of glucose in the brain. Every time we make any kind of decision and activate our frontal cortex, it’s like we’re using a fast-twitch muscle (great in short bursts, but then it dies out). So if you’re already in a caloric deficit because you’re dieting, then expect, right off the bat, that decision-making will be a little bit harder on you. With that said, how do you beat the odds in a deck already stacked against you?
1) Recognize that while it may not be easy, it will be worth it.
You’ve probably read this meme too. Nothing worth having comes easy in this life, be it relationships, income, or a 6-pack. You have to work for what you want. At the end of the day/year/decade, however long you give the process, your happy marriage, your bank account, and your steel cut abs should be reflective of the hard work you put into your endeavor.
2) Make it a habit.
They say it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I call BS. There are STILL days where I have to fight myself on whether or not to buy a pint of ice cream. NOT buying it is still not a habit for me, despite the fact that there have been times when I haven’t had ice cream for 21 days. BUT it’s not that hard to make a habit of asking the restaurant not to cook with butter, oil, or salt when they prepare your food. That can just become an instinct for you when eating out, to the point where it’s not even a choice/decision anymore. It’s just a habit – part of your daily lexicon.
3) Remind yourself why you deserve it.
Borrowing from Les Brown, you have to remind yourself that YOU matter. Your goals matter. Write down 5 reasons why you deserve to have your goal, and three times a day – morning, noon, and night – or whenever you have down moments, remind yourself of those reasons. They’ll comfort you. They’ll build you up through challenging times. This list is the angel on your shoulder when the devil creeps up, because the devil WILL creep up, and you’ll need as much help as you can get. This list will encourage you in those instances when you forget your WHY.
Accept that all your choices are reflections of what you truly love. Love yourself more than you love ice cream. Fill up your gym backpack, gym tote, or meal management system with all the food you’ll need for the week, and it’ll be that much easier to keep that ice cream out of sight and out of mind. Your mind will thank you and your body will reward you.