March 11, 2024

I have gotten this question many times and it’s something I love to work on with clients. Discipline is a word that gets thrown around lot these days, but I don’t see a lot of people defining it nor breaking it down. It’s not something that you have or don’t have. It’s something you can learn and develop. Sure, some people are better at it than others, but that is also based off of so many other factors.

Personally, I’m a person who has always been a very highly disciplined person, but that’s because my parents are both disciplined people. They have taught me that it’s important to hold yourself accountable and that your health is and always should be a high priority. Not everyone has had that experience, but it doesn’t mean you can’t now.

Discipline is associated with behavior. Behavior is based off of your habits. Habits are the building blocks of why we do what we do and ultimately shape your identity. First, I would make sure you know your why. This is something we talk about all the time because this is what is going to drive you to change behavior. If we are not clear on our why, those habits are most likely not going to stick. Clarity is king. Get CLEAR on why this is important to YOU.

Creating a goal takes skill and practice. You may have heard of SMART goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This is a great start when it comes time to get clear on what the goal is and break it down. For example, I want to start eating a high protein breakfast to improve my health and have a better start to the day. Here’s how to break that down which will give us more specificity.

I will eat 30g of protein at breakfast 5/7 days per week for the next 4 weeks. This alone gives us clarity on how to go about this goal. This means maybe we have to start grocery shopping every week and bring a list. This means maybe waking up 15 minutes earlier to eat breakfast. This means prepping hard boiled eggs at the beginning of every week. From there, we habit track! One habit at a time. We aim to make it attractive, make it obvious, make it satisfying, and learn how to recover quickly when a habit breaks down. Over time, this will become an automated system. Or maybe you’ll realize that this goal isn’t as important to you as you thought, which is also okay! Our priorities shift and we may need to create new goals.

My point is, discipline is just a word that represents a whole system or lack thereof. If you have never been through this process or have this skillset, I can see where having discipline can be extremely difficult. I tie discipline to my non negotiables. Things that have to happen no matter what in order to keep me healthy and stress free. I find that many people are not clear on their non negotiables. Trust me, there are times where I do not feel like showing up, but the only reason I do is because it’s important to me. That’s what discipline is. It’s about showing up when you don’t want to and the only way you do, is if you practice and understand this whole backend system.

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