I am the absolute best at coming up with a plan on how to reach a goal. I’m serious. I’m really good at identifying exactly what needs to be done and breaking it down into reasonable steps. I can even put it into a glorious chart with timelines and pretty pictures to boot.
And I would be really accomplished today if I could ever stick to one of these plans.
Discipline, that is my biggest problem. I am a slave to my emotions and how I feel at the moment. This year one of my goals has been concentrating on strengthening this particular characteristic in myself.
Discipline is what allows you to keep your end goal in mind so that you push through times when you just don’t feel like doing what you know you need to do.
There are lots of tips and tricks on how to become more disciplined, but here are the ones that have been working for me:
Prepare for Temptations
Undoubtedly, temptation is going to arise and throw you off track. Come up with a game plan ahead of time with specific actions you will take whenever your motivation is wavering. You have to know what you are going to do before you are actually tempted.
Will power is not very reliable. If it was, we would already have our shit together. We need distractions. Something to keep our mind busy so we don’t focus on giving up.
Are you trying to quit smoking? Then you need to know what your reaction will be when you get the urge to smoke. Is it going to be chewing a piece of gum, drinking a glass of water, or going for a walk? What specifically are you going to do to resist giving in?
By thinking things through ahead of time, you will have any supplies you need handy. If your plan is to chew gum when you have the urge to smoke, but you forgot to buy gum, what the hell are you even doing?
Using Temptations as a Reward
This is basically a little mind game to give your motivation a boost. You use something you want to do, to reward yourself if you actually do what you are suppose to do.
For example, if I need to workout, but I really just want to binge watch a series on Netflix, I’ll make a deal that if I workout for 20 minutes then I can stop and watch one episode. Or if I need to write, but I want to play games on my phone, I will write for 20 minutes then I can play a game.
Twenty minutes is a magical amount of time for me. I find that usually if I do 20 minutes of something, I end up going longer or just going ahead and finishing the task instead of taking a break.
Obviously, if you are trying to quit smoking, I’m not saying use a cigarette as a reward. But if there is something else that you really like; shoes, magazines, going for ice cream, eating out, etc., then set an increment of how long you have to go without smoking before you get your reward. Go two weeks without smoking, new pair of shoes, baby! Set your reward for whatever turns you on and whatever your budget allows.
Be Gone, Satan!
Don’t put yourself in situations where you will be tempted in the first place.
If you are trying to eat healthier, then don’t have junk in the house. Or, like in the example of wanting to watch Netflix instead of working out, take your workout outside so you aren’t near a computer or tv.
Have something that you will see often that will keep your goal in the front of your mind.
If you are trying to lose weight, dig those jeans you are hoping to get back into out of the closet and hang them up in your room. If you are trying to quit smoking, pictures of what your lungs look like might make you think twice. Ew!
My current mind games include, I have to work out before I can play any games on my phone. Damn you, Gardenscapes! Also, I have to write for at least, you guessed it, 20 minutes before I get to read or watch a show. My yoga mat is constantly laid out ready for use. It’s my visual reminder to get my butt on there and do my pilates workout.
What about you? Can you relate to my struggle with being disciplined? Are you an Instant gratification type of woman? What are you working towards, trying to get better at or what habit are you trying to break? What mind games or tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated? Please share in the comments below.