Are you ultra focused, driven and committed at work?
You do those high value tasks that give you the best return on time, money and energy invested. Early starts, missed lunch breaks, client dinners and travel are a given – necessary to achieve the end result. You recognize that diligence & discipline at work allows you the means to live in a lovely house, in a great area (maybe now or maybe in the future, each day you’re a step closer though)… to buy nice clothes and take regular overseas holidays… to be generous with gifts for those you love… perhaps to have a personal trainer?
And when you get home each night – after giving your all to your job - perhaps you’ll have a little bit left in the tank to spend some quality time with your partner, kids, or grand kids. To plan your working day tomorrow.
Beyond that how much is left in your tank each night to prepare that quality meal your hard working body needs? Or to do that training session you missed today because an important meeting popped up? How about preparing your best meals for tomorrow?
Likely you’re running close to empty so far as fuel – so far as DISCIPLINE – left for your health goal.
You’ve already steamed through your daily discipline quota.
You’re not lazy, or unmotivated or lacking discipline. It’s not simply that ‘You don’t want it enough’!
…even though you’ve probably been giving yourself grief for months or years for not being able to show the same discipline & focus to your health that you do with your career… or with your family.
Staring in the mirror, that body you see does not reflect the person you are on the inside. It’s not aligned with the success you’re used to achieving in other areas of your life.
It’s frustrating and disheartening and perhaps painful enough that you vow you’ll make a change.
Yep, you’ll wake up with more discipline. And focus. A strict deadline will motivate you.
Here’s the thing: It Won’t Ever Happen.
Discipline is limited & We All follow the path of least resistance when our discipline is all used up.
The sooner you admit this, the sooner you’ll be able to start laying in place those little actions, little mind games or systems that make choosing what’s best for your health easy even when your discipline tank is running on empty.
Rather than expecting yourself to become good at an approach that hasn’t worked for years… take the time to find the series of approaches – or TACTICS – that will work.
When I set myself up to fail at the discipline game, well you know what happens right?!
=> If I try to keep gorgeous roasted cashews at home… I’ll feast on gorgeous roasted cashews (maybe I’ll even last till after dinner but it will happen!).
=> If I decide to walk tonight rather than this morning… odds on I’ll get caught up in ‘more important’ work and skip that walk.
=> When I decide to do my treadmill intervals after weights-day-tomoz rather than on cardio-interval-day-today… those weights will get done however 97.8% chance the cardio intervals won’t.
=> If my salad for lunch is missing some good fat or is mainly light-weight-unsatisfying leaves without any veg of substance (like cauli/broccoli/mushroom)… I’ll be staaaaarving all afternoon and resort to mindless nibbling.
=> Or if I skip a meal because I’m ‘too busy’… then later I’ll devour above and beyond that skipped meal and likely it’ll not only be a bigger quantity but also lessor quality.
=> When I’ve stayed up late and gotten less than 7 hours sleep… food seems like the only answer to give me the instant energy needed to get through my day.
We have too many opportunities each day to test our discipline.
=> From behaving like a professional regardless of the attitude you’re dealt by your #1 problem client/colleague/service provider/family member.
=> Traffic-public transport-parking.
…hold that temper ok?
=> To sitting with dogged discipline behind your computer till that report is finished or powering through a day of back to back meetings.
…no stopping till it’s done ok?
=> To resisting the birthday cake that everyone else is hoeing into and walking right past that 2 for 1 special on your fav choc biscuits at the supermarket.
…one bite and you’re a goner so resist ok?
That is why it is vital to set yourself up to win at the discipline game.
=> If you leave for work early or get home late then find some quick and easy options to have ready to go for breakie and also for dinner. An omelette takes all of 30seconds to put on to cook if the ingredients are thrown together the day before and sitting in the fridge. Have a quick shower and it’ll be ready to turn. Simple.
Heating the nutritious dinners you made on mass and serving them with some extra frozen veg or premixed salad greens takes no longer than stopping for take away… or making cheese on toast.
=> If you know that from time to time you will mindlessly eat as a procrastination technique or emotionally eat to comfort/reward yourself then congrats you’re normal! (oh, and you’re normal too if you don’t have the strong emotional attachment to food that I do!) …my point is, if it’s going to happen make sure that the stuff that you don’t want to be outta-control-munching is never in the house AND that there is alternate non-goal-destroying-fuel always in the house.
One of my favs is my zero carb anytime dessert (<= check it out here!)
=> Before committing to getting up 1/2 an hour early to get that early am exercise session in… first commit getting to bed 1/2 an hour earlier – and acknowledge what steps you need to take to achieve this (such as not starting to watch the 9.30pm program, or avoiding mindless online time after dinner).
=> Know your danger social situations. You don’t need to avoid them. You just need to out-plan them. Eating before you arrive at the pub so you’re not overdue for a meal and tempted by the greasy-carbie-crap-o-la. Have food waiting for you at home too so you don’t collapse into bed without good food and wake up hung-over And hurting (!) AND likely tempted again by greasy-carbie-crap-o-la all day tomorrow too.
I regularly get told how ‘focused’ and ‘disciplined’ I am. In reality I have no more discipline than you. I certainly am no less attached to food. I have however taken the time to find out what stumbling blocks kept holding me back and to come up with solutions for each of them. To make it easier on myself to choose what’s best for my body… and to make it as hard as possible to choose what’s crap for my body.
To dominate the discipline game requires honestly answering “What repeatedly holds you back from enjoying your best health?”
“What can you do to bust through that stumbling block?” (and the next… and the next after that).
AND if that seems like too much effort… “Just how high on your list of priorities does your health currently sit?”
“What can you do – or more likely – how can you think to bump health further up your list of priorities?”
Perhaps these final four questions will help (and Yes they are meant to scramble the current associations you have surrounding the attainment of your best health).
What will happen if you make a change to improve your health?
What won’t happen if you make a change to improve your health?
What will happen if you don’t make a change to improve your health?
What won’t happen if you don’t make a change to improve your health?
Ok, I’m scrambled and over and out – love to hear your thoughts, feedback, questions… what is the one next step you’re taking to dominate the discipline game?