As I was having lunch with a friend last week she was talking to me about
the ‘merry-go-round’ she finds herself on every month…”I can eat well for a couple of weeks but then I get off track, make a few bad choices and then it’s all take out, chocolate and wine! My discipline just goes out the window!”
She went on to say, “I guess this is effortless for you, you don’t have to worry about the same challenges right…?”
Mmm…I was a bit taken aback. I’m not sure anyone finds maintaining their discipline around healthy habits (or anything) a breeze and frankly, it’s taken me many years, lots of tears and failed attempts to get where I am today.
(Oh yeah, and in the end, I set up a wellbeing business as the ultimate accountability. Not maintaining my wellbeing is simply bad for business!)
3 more similar conversations followed with friends and clients struggling with maintaining their discipline around what they eat & drink, their exercise routine and getting enough sleep, so I’m taking that as a sign from the universe to address how to foster a sense of discipline that sticks.
So I found myself giving my friend the skinny on my…
Top 3 keys to maintaining the discipline to ensure I stay healthy and happy.
Firstly, what’s the deal with discipline?
Good old Wikipedia would describe it as to;
Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.
Yuk – doesn’t sound inviting does it?!
Key 1) When you are thinking about changing your behaviour around something you want to stick let’s leave the punishment to the side. We want to make things really fun and appealing so we are drawn to do it.
For example, need to get that early morning exercise routine going. Make sure it’s something you look forward to…hate gyms, choose something outside. Need a little encouragement? Get your mate or partner involved so they a join you or kick you out of bed in the morning ☺
Key 2) ‘Mini-fi’ it! I love Stephen Guise’s theory around mini-habits AKA. When you are starting habits make it so small you can’t fail. This starts to create some momentum making it much easier to stick to things.
Want to do yoga every day but your schedule makes that impossible. What if you commit to just 1 ‘sun salute’. Guaranteed you get on that yoga mat you end up doing 2, 3 and 4…sun salutes. Want to start walking more in your day, get off the bus stop 1 stop earlier. You get the drill.
Key 3) Want to maintain it, be 100% realistic about your week. Plan it out, even if you only have 15 mins a day to do something get it in the diary. Our willpower is strongest at the beginning of the day. Eat well for breakfast or, do your exercise first thing, it will set you up well for the day making it easier to stick to more positive decisions throughout the day.
At any point in the day, you can make a +1 or -1 decision. It’s the old ‘1 step forward and 2 steps back thing’. All too often people make a bad decision and they spiral. What if you were only 1 decision away from making a good one again?
I do ultimately consider myself a highly disciplined person when it comes to my health and wellbeing. If I’m not doing something to charge my energy up every day, I now miss it too much. Once you get that feeling, you won’t look back. Start developing your own rules for discipline – I guarantee you’ll start to enjoy being healthy a whole lot more!
To your health and happiness,
P.S. Here are 3 ways we can help you personally or,
the people within your company, thrive more: