“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.” – John C. Maxwell
Many of us are looking forward to making changes in 2019 and the start of a year provides great motivation in us to step up and challenge ourselves to try something new or improve ourselves in some way, but we need to have self-discipline.
When we are creating new habits like going to the gym, eating healthier or even trying to reduce our daily social media intake, they are not new behaviours that cultivate joy and pleasure in us. They are things we feel we ‘have’ to do or ‘suppose’ to do and cause us pain in the short term but deep down we know that they will have a positive impact in our lives in the long term.
So how do we create self-discipline and stick it out to the end to achieve these new habits of behaviour?
1. Firstly, we need to be emotionally invested. We need to imagine how it will feel when we have achieved these new habits, new behaviours. Imagine how you will feel having more energy. Imagine feeling more confident in a toned, healthy body. Imagine how your skin will feel and look with all the healthy food choices you are putting in your body? Imagine how much closer you will feel to friends and family when you are not distracted by looking down at social media during conversations or at dinner?
2. Reframe your reasons for your new habits - Remind yourself of why you are creating this new habit? Why you feel it will improve your life? why you want to be slimmer, fitter? Why you want to spend less time on social media?
3. Get organised - If you are planning to get fitter or healthier:
4. Review your progress: Check in regularly on how you are getting on with these new habits/goals. Are you sticking to your schedule? If not, why not, do you need to re-arrange your week? Are you sticking to your healthy eating? If you had an off day, that’s okay. Just start afresh the next day and carry on, don’t give up on the whole week over just one bad day. None of us are perfect so don’t expect to be when you are creating these new habits. It takes time and repetition for new habits to become embedded.
5. Reward Yourself: When we have achieved something in the past – whether it was at home, school, college, or work, we were rewarded for things that we accomplished. These rewards, be it a certificate, an award ceremony, a trophy or a plaque of recognition, all contributed to positive feelings about ourselves - our self-belief and self-worth escalated. They are memories we cherish, so it’s important to reward yourself even for the small gains, the small wins as you embed these new changes. You are creating new neural pathways in your brain for success. The rewards don’t have to be big. Maybe, have lunch out with a friend, have a spa night at home – bubble bath and relaxing music.
Self-discipline is the number one behaviour for success to achieve any new habit or goal. When you do the above, you reframe change from something you have to do, to something you want to do, and look forward to completing.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
Be kind, loving and supportive of yourself for 2019!