I think self-discipline is something that Clydesdales and Athenas (cycling parlance for those weighing 200+ pounds/91+ kg) struggle with. I’m a Clyde and struggle with it everyday. I went looking for sources to help me with my self-discipline problems and came across this article:
Five Easy Ways to Gain Self Discipline
A life of self discipline seems impossible to maintain. So many people give up on their good intentions of being self disciplined and let that lazy lifestyle win. Follow these five easy steps and end the laziness streak for good.
It is Monday morning, and the choice is before us, again – be self disciplined and get out of bed an hour early to exercise and do a few chores, or hit the snooze button 17 times before flying out of bed at the last minute and barely making it out the door on time. Getting out of bed would make us feel good in the long run, but so often that lazy lifestyle wins, and that snooze button gets pushed time and time again. How can a person make discipline the automatic response in any situation?
1. Look at Self Discipline as the Gateway to Happiness
We all want to be happy. No one wakes up in the morning hoping for an awful day. Most people’s happiness is tied to their level of self-control. Having accomplished all necessary tasks for the day creates a feeling of satisfaction. With that satisfaction comes happiness. It’s hard to be happy and enjoy a relaxing pastime when you know you need to mow the yard, do laundry, drive the kids to soccer, clean the floors, etc. If you look at self discipline as a means to happiness at the end of the day, it’s much easier to get up and get those necessary tasks done.
2. Realize That Self Discipline Builds on Itself
Pick one area of life that you want to work hard to have self-control in all the time. Take exercise for example. Work really hard to have the discipline to get up every morning and exercise. Soon your motivation will increase and other tasks will effortlessly be accomplished as well.
3. Take Small Steps
If your world is out of control in every area, being self disciplined may seem like a mountain that will never be crossed. You get overwhelmed just thinking about tackling any one area, so you settle back into the lazy lifestyle. Instead, pick a small area to become disciplined in.
If the entire workout routine is so overwhelming that you never take a step off the couch, don’t tackle the whole workout routine at once. Pick a small thing to accomplish every day like taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator or park in the very last space at the store and walk all the way to the doors. Even doing sit-ups during the commercial breaks of your favourite TV show is a great way to begin the self-disciplined lifestyle.
4. Understand That You Can’t Always be Perfect
No one is perfect, and if you wait to be disciplined in an area until you can also be perfect in that area, then every task will be too overwhelming to even begin. Don’t wait to start the exercise routine until you are in perfect shape and can run on the treadmill without having to slow it down to the embarrassing walking pace after two minutes of running. Go ahead and walk/jog the two miles. It is ok to set a goal that you can accomplish without killing yourself in order to do it.
5. You Must Believe in Yourself
You will be self disciplined if you believe that you are a self-disciplined person. Seeing yourself as someone who gets up and exercises every day makes it easier to get up and actually exercise every day even after a lazy streak. The same is true for self discipline. If you think of yourself as someone who is disciplined with their lifestyle, then when you are not being disciplined, you are more likely to begin again.
Be a Self-disciplined Person for Good
The lifestyles of the self disciplined may seem so unattainable to the average person that the overwhelming feeling to never get off the couch becomes hard to defeat. By following these five easy steps, even the most undisciplined of people will find their lives beginning to take shape and finally changing for good.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Folkman
Number 3 in the article above really resonated with me. As I re-embark on my journey of developing a healthy lifestyle through cycling, I know I won’t be able to achieve my goals in one week, one month, or even one year. It’s going to take time to see fitness gains and weight loss. Because of that I’m going to have to start slowly and build back up to what I was doing before my bicycle broke last year. I’m notorious for pushing it too hard, not recovering, and quitting because the program becomes too hard. I have to take a measured approach to getting back on the bike. Take yesterday for example. It was my first day back on the bike in over five months and instead of hammering it hard for 30 minutes I took it nice and easy for 20. This let me get acquainted with the new bike, riding on a trainer, and more importantly, it has started laying the foundation of toughening up my sit bones for longer rides later. Not toughening up those sit bones (i.e. too many miles too early) is one of the biggest reasons new cyclists quit.
Taking small steps will be helpful in my diet as well. As I look back at my progress last year I know that I could have done better. I was basically riding the training plan but not watching my eating as well as I should have. Sure, I ate better than I had previously but there were still some serious lapses that held me back. I’m going to need to make small, gradual changes to help me with my self-discipline problems in this area. Changes like cutting back on the number of cups of coffee I have each day, drinking more water, or resisting the urge to eat out when a healthy meal cooked at home would be so much better.
Have you faced self-discipline problems in the past regarding your diet and/or exercise program? If so, I’d like to hear how you fixed them in the comments below.