Monday, January 04, 2016

Mission: Fit Monday
Five Ways to Cultivate Discipline


It's that time of year  you've made the resolution to get fit. Now what? Sure, I could throw together a list of things to motivate you, but let's be real  it'd be pretty useless. You'll be lucky if it gets you going for a week or two, but the motivation will be short-lived, and you'll go right back to lounging around in your stretchy pants, binge watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy, and eating ready-made dark chocolate fudge frosting straight from the can (not speaking from personal experience or anything).

The thing about motivation is that it's temporary. We rely too heavily on outside forces (e.g., our friends and family, Instagram fitness models, quotes of the day, upcoming events, etc.) to motivate us, but they're fleeting and can only take us so far, especially when it's the end of a long day and we've already resigned ourselves to the thought of skipping the gym or polishing off that chocolate cake. You can't assume someone or something will always be there to push you. 

With that said, here are 5 ways to cultivate the discipline you need to get things done when you don't feel like doing it:

1. Don't think, just do

I find that when I allow myself to start thinking about whether or not I should go to the gym, for example, I'm more likely to talk myself out it. So now, when that kind of thought enters my mind, I eliminate the potential for self-doubt by simply doing, meaning I force myself to get up, get dressed, and get out the door.

2. Start small

When we set larger-than-life goals, we risk overwhelming ourselves to the point of paralysis, and we quit even before we start. To avoid this, start by setting small, attainable goals. Force yourself to do something small every day that you wouldn't normally do, like simply getting up 10-15 minutes earlier in the morning to get a quick stretch in or gather your thoughts before starting the day. Once you get in the habit of doing the small things, the big stuff won't seem so far out of reach.

3. Plan ahead

Look at your schedule and determine when you can dedicate time to your goal of getting fit, whether that means hitting the gym on your own, trying out a group class, going for a walk, prepping your lunches for the week, or even some R&R. Then write it down. If you don't set aside the time and pencil it in (literally), chances are you won't follow through.

4. Be forgiving

There will be days you just want to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing. That's okay. Don't be so hard on yourself. No one is perfect and "on" 24/7. Take that day, but don't carry it into tomorrow. Leave it behind and re-commit yourself the next day.

5. Focus on your own journey

Keep in mind that you're on your own personal journey, and nothing good will come out of comparing it to someone else's. Measure your success against your own personal goals and standards and hold yourself accountable.

What helps you stay productive and get things done?

xo, Sc

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