Self Discipline

Dustin Myers

 

Quick quiz:  

What is stopping you or has stopped you in the past from reaching your goals?

A. Haters

B. Not enough time

C. Tough competition

D. All of the above plus El Nino

E. None of the above

 

As tempting as it can be to blame your haters or lack of time, the answer is E.  So what is stopping you?  Look in the mirror.  You have no one to blame but yourself - more specifically your own lack of self discipline.  Tough pill to swallow.

            Regardless of how lofty or small your goals and ambitions may be, having the self discipline to do everything within your power to reach them is often the determining factor.  Talent is everywhere.  Great training plans?  You could find a million online right now…but without the ability to follow one and execute every detail with maximum effort you will never reap the intended benefits.  Successful individuals and athletes have the discipline to make sacrifices on a daily basis in order reach their potential.

            So ask yourself - have you mastered the art of self discipline?  I’m not just talking about lifting weights like an animal for 2 hours every day.  How is your nutrition?  Do you get enough sleep?  Are you habitually late?  Is it easy for someone to talk you into changing your plans or taking the easy road for a minute?  Do you find yourself saying things like “yeah I was trying to do ________ but…”?

            Everyone struggles with self discipline on some levels.  Unfortunately the easy way is almost never the best way.  Luckily for you I’m going to teach you some strategies for overcoming your own self defeating tendencies.  Here’s what you need to do if you are not already:

 

*Create a mantra*

This will be something you use to remind yourself of why the goal is important or to put things in perspective.  One of my favorites - “nothing tastes better than having abs”.  When ever I’m dieting and I’m tempted by a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s or some pasta I ask myself, is this spaghetti going to taste better than the feeling of walking onto the beach with chisled abs?  Sounds silly, but the answer is always no, and that makes avoiding those foods much easier.  Come up with a meaningful one and repeat it as much as necessary.

 

*Make priority lists*

This is sort of like a To-Do list, but once you make the rough draft list them in order of importance, ideally with some of your enjoyable but lower important tasks near the bottom.  Start at the top and knock them out in order, not allowing yourself to get to the fun stuff until you have finished the list.

 

*Arrive early

By trying to make it to things on time - work, gym, school, dates, etc. - you are opening up the door for uncontrollable variables like traffic or diarrhea to make you late.  Have the self discipline to always arrive 30 minutes early and you will never be the guy that has to explain how something crazy made you late.

 

*Place value on the process and your effort rather than results*

Rather than asking yourself “did I win?”, ask yourself “did I give absolute max effort?” and “did I go about everything the RIGHT way?”.  By putting a clear emphasis on giving your all to the process rather than focusing on the end result you will usually get what you are aiming for anyways.  The only difference is that the self discipline it takes to not cut any corners along the hard road will have a positive impact on every aspect of your life.

If you liked this article, check out:

Mental Toughness In Combat Sports

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