The Problem Isn’t Starting It’s Staying Disciplined

How many times have you started on any journey, for most of us it tends to be a weight loss, and 2-3 weeks later you start slipping?   You start off great. You’ve been staying exactly on the weight loss plan and your workout plan.  The motivation that you started out with was great. But now your motivation and will are fading away, so what you are left with are the routines you gained or learned during your motivation stage.  The routines that you built around your workouts and diet are what will be able to stay with you.  Did you notice I said “will” be able to stay with you. The trouble is we make decisions every single second of the day.  Part of those decisions that are made is whether or not we will stay disciplined.  Do I eat that piece of candy?  Do I eat that piece of cake?  I’m sure we have all had some kind of struggle like this even if it wasn’t based on weight loss. 

It’s easy starting a workout plan or diet, the hard part is staying disciplined and continuing passed the motivation stage.  Even if we had the perfect plan and diet there is still a chance of human error.  We as humans know what’s good for us and we still go against what we know we should be doing.  Why is this?  Maybe you can give a better explanation.  However it is my belief that it comes down to how many times we’ve told ourselves NO before. We have to say No to our instant gratification of eating that piece of candy in order for us to say yes to that long term goal we say we want.  If we take that piece of candy what we are really saying is we want to stay the way we are.  We only want that goal somewhat, not all the way, otherwise it would be easy to say no.  I’ve had moments of complete clarity and said no to many things I knew weren’t good for me.  These moments were sometimes  easy and sometimes hard.  Every moment we are changing and so is our levels of discipline.  One way to eliminate these decisions is to create values  instead of rely on your own will.  Every time you are tempted to break your values ask yourself, “If I do/eat XYZ, does this fit into my values?”  If the answer is “No” (which if you have to ask yourself it probably will be) listen to that voice and that voice alone.  Your will, will break eventually but if you build values, and listen to your values, the values will not break. 

When you start on your journey look at the activities and decisions you are doing and making instead of just blindly making it a routine. You must truly build them into who you are and your value system.  In your value system you may have such things as — saying no to stealing.  At times it could be tempting to steal but if you decided long ago it was against your values, you wouldn’t steal because it would be against your values. If you can instill in yourself these routines as values and make them as easy as not stealing, you will have tremendous success. It will be hard at first but over time it will get easier as long as you rely on the values to drive your discipline instead of motivation and will.  I used to drink soda all the time, now I can’t tell you the last time I had one.  It became one of those values that I hold myself to.  This is something we can all work on and something I will keep working on.  In a later article I will write about the psychology of long term change and how anyone can use these principles to work into creating values to your benefit and create the long term success you want.  Who doesn’t want long term success?  Make sure you subscribe to the blog to receive up to date blog posts to be the first to read once they go up.  

-Iron Mike

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