Google “why can’t I…” and count the hits. Now sigh in relief, you’re not alone!
There are a heap of answers people give to why we don’t do what we intended (even if we really wanted to), but in my opinion it really boils down to a few key things
-Are you doing the right thing? (Education)
– Do you have partners in crime? (Community)
– Do you truly want the end goal more than you want immediate satisfaction? (Discipline)
I’m the kinda gal who craves information – my insanely awesome internet trolling skills have helped me read hundreds of blogs, diet reviews and plans out there – not to mention I have a small library on the subject of healthy eating and living.
But even equipped with all that knowledge, I still struggle sometimes with food.
I’ve got a good community as well. My husband and friends support my drive to eat, move and think healthy. I’ve got a gym in my office building and great people there. Sure I’d love half a dozen gym buddies cheering me on, but really I do just fine with my classes and ‘me time’ running.
But even equipped with this Community, I struggle.
So here I am, trying to figure out that last little key. Why do I sometimes reactively inhale a chocolate bar at 2:00 pm and I’m not hungry? Why do I have a long term vision but it seems to sometimes be over shadowed by my short term desire for comfort, joy and ease?
Discipline is the ability to do what you know needs to be done, without the need for reward.
Discipline is flossing your teeth before bed when you came home drunk.
Discipline is getting the crap part of your job done on time.
Discipline is putting away $50 a week to save for a car.
Discipline, really, is making any decision your future self would be grateful for.
I think some people are naturally disciplined, but I also think a lot of it comes from the example your parents gave you and your exposure to commitment and discipline (sports, study, etc) as a kid.
As an adult, the major requirement psychologically when building discipline is to connect to your future self. There have been some cool studies on how our behaviour changes if we see our future selves unhappy (via a computer enhanced image).
So how do you connect to the long-term you? That’s what I’m working on at the moment. I’m curious as to why I am finding it hard to eat right consistently, even though I want to live to 100 healthily …I’m not mad, sad or ashamed (because these are not productive reactions to eating a chocolate bar!), I’m just curious and open to exploring it further.
If you’re picking up what I’m putting down in any part of your life (food, money, fitness, work, whatever!!) maybe you can try this exercise with me: describe your ‘ideal’ future self.
How do you think? Look? Behave? What fills your typical day? What gives you joy? Who are you surrounded by? Maybe even imagine your eulogy (confronting, but seriously, we all have one)… imagine the pictures of your life looked back on by the people you touched and were important to.
That’s what I’m going to do today, and you should too. Get yourself your favourite coffee at your favourite cafe, plot out a 2 hour date with your future self and write your destiny. Be detailed and thorough, describe using the five senses, paint a detailed picture…. And for goodness sakes, make sure you write it down.
When this is done, I’m going to venture into how we can all make the ‘future me’ important today – but that’s for the next post 🙂
Make today kick ass, speak soon!
– Angie xo