The definition of discipline according to dictionary.com is to “train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.” In a 2013 study by Wilhelm Hofmann and his colleagues at the University of Chicago, people who have the ability to resist impulses and deal with goal conflicts report being more satisfied and happier with their lives. Good health is more than the absence of disease. Mastering discipline may improve many areas of a person’s life such as nutrition, physical activity, relationships, spirituality, academics, and profession.
If you wonder whether you could have more self-discipline or how it can be achieved, it may be easier than you think. Setting and meeting goals on a regular basis helps to get in the practice of living a healthier life. This is an individual choice and based on your values and rules you set for yourself. It is about changing your routine, which may be hard at first because you are training your mind to do something uncomfortable and not letting impulses or feelings dictate a choice. When a new behavior becomes a habit, you no longer have to make decisions because the new habit happens automatically.
Below are a few ways to achieve self-discipline:
- Start small. Break goals into simple steps and focus on doing one thing consistently before you tackle another goal. If you want to eat healthier, incorporate one more fruit and vegetable into each meal. If you want to step up your level of physical activity, add an extra 10-15 minutes to your workout. If you want more sleep, go to bed a few minutes earlier each night.
- Recognize your weaknesses. If you have chips or cookies in the house, you most likely will eat them. Keep healthy snacks on hand to resist temptation. If you tend to scroll before bed, shut your phone off at night so you can get quality sleep. Lay your workout clothes out the night before so you are less likely to blow off a workout. Meal prep so you will have healthy meals throughout the day and less decisions to make when eating.
- Prioritize. Write down your tasks so you know what is most important in your day, week, month, or year. Add it to your calendar or stick it on your fridge. If you want to run your first road race, you need to write down a training schedule and stick with it. If you want to eat healthier, you need to make a list of healthy foods to buy so you can cook at home.
- Forgive yourself. Don’t let a negative experience impede your goals and aspirations. You will have ups and downs with goals you set for yourself, but if you visualize a healthier future, it is easier to follow through with your plans. Celebrate the small accomplishments!
If you believe you can accomplish something, you will. Changing your perception about a resolution will help you succeed in your goals. When you achieve one goal, set a new goal to keep the momentum going and to foster self-care.
If you are struggling with goal-setting for your health and wellness, send me an email! I would be happy to help.
Quote of the week:
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ~ Jim Rohn
Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken
6 frozen, skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup of barbecue sauce
½ cup Italian salad dressing
¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. Chicken is done when cooked through and easy to shred. Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the crock pot and stir to coat with the sauce.