Let’s just get the notion that living a healthy lifestyle is suffer and sacrifice out of the way. Self-discipline is really about self-empowerment. You’re in charge. You call the shots. And it feels awesome! Move away from thinking healthy means deprivation and shift your life toward discipline with these four strategies!
Self-control means feeling good.
People who show high self-control feel good and that translates to a better mood. Self-discipline, when practiced, can make you feel better in the short and long-term. When you're behaving like the CEO of your life, you feel good. On the flip side, if you're trapped in a cycle of overeating, self-loathing, regret and defeat, you're going to feel lousy.
You can get off the cycle of stress and overeating and more stress when you take control. Every time you say make a decision that’s aligned with your fitness goals, you'll feel more joy and personal empowerment. (You know, the exact opposite of how you feel when you tell someone you're going to lose weight and then you eat your way through a bag of chips.) You’ve got this! Take charge of your decisions and you're going to love how you feel. I guarantee your happiness will go up—especially when you do what you say you'll do—from workouts to that eating that delicious salad you said you’d have for lunch.
Self-discipline means creating an environment that supports you.
It isn’t that self-disciplined people are masters at resisting temptation, they might just be better at avoiding temptation in the first place by creating a supportive environment.
Do have friends who share your fitness goals or who want to workout with you? Have you spent time trying different forms of exercise so you can land on one (or two or three) that you love? Do you share your health goals openly with friends and family? Do you buy foods that support your goals? Do you use fitness apps that give you a little nudge to workout? Do you track your workouts or post your healthy menu for the week where you can see it?
Self-discipline means you use goals as your compass.
To stay on track, I follow a 90/10 rule where I try and make sure that 90%—a big majority—of my decisions fall into the healthy lifestyle camp, giving me 10% wiggle room for an occasional ice cream or the busy travel day when a workout isn’t possible. Yes, even I have to miss a workout sometimes! But I stick to my rules: never go more than two days in a row without a workout and treats are a once-in-a-while thing, not an everyday thing. Aim for an 80/20 rule with 80% of your choices falling on the healthy side.
Self-discipline means you set your life up for success.
With self-discipline, you're on your own side. You aren’t at war with yourself and you begin to learn the decisions you need to repeatedly make for success. When you make those self-disciplined decisions and see positive results, guess what? You're writing your very own success plan! It’s rewarding to feel in control of your fitness and know you're contributing to your health.
In a word, self-discipline makes you … HAPPY.
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