Your dream life is just a few changes away.
I used to think discipline was punishment.
Then, I realized it’s the highest form of self-respect. You ditch empty, short-term pleasures to choose what’s best for you in the long run. No wonder studies show disciplined people are happier.
They don’t beat themselves up over being overweight, lonely, or broke because they do what it takes to change their life.
Discipline = the ability to choose what you want most over what you want now
There’s only one problem: Building discipline is hard. As a former bodybuilding competitor, business owner, and habit geek with 2+ years meditation streaks, I know the struggle of continuously pushing through. Here are three of my best strategies to build insane discipline without torturing yourself.
Read also: 5 ways you are making your life way harder that it has to be
Apply The “DOM” Approach To Increase Your Discipline Every Day
Hitting the gym for over ten years has taught me many lessons.
One of them is that you can always do one more. When your muscles burn, your vision narrows, and you’re close to passing out, you always have one more rep in the tank. You just need to push yourself a little.
This strategy builds discipline over time because it forces you to expand your comfort zone in small steps.
Done studying? Read one more page.
Done exercising? Do one more set.
Done working? Put in another 20 minutes.
Nobody is born with insane discipline. But every time you do one more, you extend the boundary of what’s doable. Next time, you can go one step further.
The extra reps count most because if you want discipline, you have to embrace discomfort.
Drop Your “Undroppable” Bad Habits With This Trick
Saying “no” is often the hardest thing to do.
Going out. Extra fries. Scrolling on Instagram. Watching porn. Getting drunk. All these things tempt you to say yes.
Denying them takes a lot of willpower. When I quit porn, I often had strong urges to relapse. My mind made up all sorts of rationalizations.
“You’ve had a rough day, you deserve it.”
“This one time won’t hurt.”
“You’ve been so disciplined for the last few weeks, reward yourself!”
These are nothing but excuses your ego uses to trick you into doing something you shouldn’t.
When you have a bad day, it’s easy to fall back into behaviors that don’t serve you. Forcing yourself to stay away from them takes tons of willpower, which often you don’t have. Instead of giving in, try this strategy:
Tell yourself you’ll do it later.
Emotions are fleeting, so delay your bad habits and distract yourself.
The urge will pass — and you’ve stayed disciplined for yet another day.
Read also: 6 simple and practical ways to show up for yourself everyday
Learn To Never Skip What Matters Again
Discipline is a mindset.
If you view yourself as a disciplined person, you will look for ways to go the extra mile, say no to your bad habits, and do what you have to. But when you let yourself down, you feel like you’ve lost your discipline.
When I trained for a bodybuilding competition, I set two rules for myself.
No matter what happened that day, I will eat the food I have to and complete my workout according to plan. I’ll miss out on a social event and skimp on my studies, but I did what needed to be done.
Setting this Golden Standard has helped me tremendously because I showed myself that no matter how bad the day, I’m disciplined enough to do what I have to.
Today, my Golden Standard is my morning meditation — you can choose yours:
Doing 10,000 steps
Taking a shower
Journaling one page
Drinking three liters of water
Turning off your WiFi in the morning
Choose something challenging but doable. Stick to it even if your day becomes a double-decker shit sandwich.
Every time you do, you’ll become more disciplined — and show yourself some respect.
Contributed by Moreno Zugaro
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