Day 10 and you have set a “realistic” goal. You are retraining your mind to think positively. You are working hard to organize your life and taking “action” towards establishing new and healthy habits. Now you need to “discipline” yourself to stay the course.
Believe me; you are past the hardest part. When you first start out with any new program; whether it’s fitness, nutritional, or spiritual, your transformation is contingent on establishing new habits. However, more importantly; you must be disciplined enough to break the old ones if you are to achieve success.
Here are 3 Easy Steps to help you develop discipline in your life. I want to teach you to enjoy doing the hard work of reaching your goals because the rewards will be so great, that the path towards the end, no matter how excruciating, will be overshadowed by the experience of a win.
Step 1 towards creating discipline is using your IMAGINATION. Imagine yourself as a disciplined person. Visualize yourself at the end of this 30 day challenge. How does your body feel, what is your family saying about you? How do your clothes fit? What do you feel like when you look in the mirror? How do you feel emotionally about staying the course and realizing you are on track to getting into the best shape of your life? I imagine it feels pretty good.
Old habits ruin our best intentions. It’s easier to repeat patterned behaviors and harder to learn new ones. When we are living our lives by rote we don’t have to think. Neuroscientists tell us that neurons, or nerve cells, in our brains make connections communicating through synapses. Every time we re-activate that circuitry by repeating a specific behavior, plasticity sets in. Your brain literally changes structurally to accommodate the behavior. Therefore, change requires our minds to rewire our thought process. So, when given a choice, we tend to choose the path of least resistance because that is how we are physiologically wired.
Step 2 is to STOP whenever you are at the “crossroads”. The crossroads is that juncture where you are confronted with the choice to continue the old behavior or stop and decide to change it. There are moments in the day when you realize you are on automatic pilot. Discipline yourself to become fully conscious of your activities and decisions. Commit to your goal every moment of the day. We have all had those moments when we realize we are costing along and boom, some old habit wants to derail us from our goal. At that moment, you must be disciplined enough to stop and ask yourself, “Would acting on my old behavior be healthy for me or would it be healthier if I choose to recommit to my wellness goal instead? The answer is quite obvious. A disciplined approach to life is one where you make a concerted effort to make the change. Discipline yourself to keep your goal at the forefront of your mind.
Step 3. Create a new habit for success by rewarding yourself. Every time you achieve success with your new goal, give yourself a treat. Download a new song onto your iPhone, or go buy a new mat (that beat up old thing stinks anyway), treat yourself to a healthy dinner, or go home and soak in a nice, hot, soothing bubble bath. Whatever you decide; you are now beginning to create new neural-pathways that will continually lead you towards healthier choices and closer to your achieving you ultimate goal. Out with the old, in with the new.