Friday, June 26, 2009

Growing Self-Discipline

I'll admit it, I kinda failed this week. I'd planned to be able to report a loss. I couldn't.

And as tough as it is to admit it, what it really boils down to is my own lack of self-discipline. And so I had to remind myself by looking through some of my old posts, remembering some of the great advice I'd dished out in the past ~ but not necessarily always practiced. (Dang, why does that seem to happen so often??!!)

Two years ago, an old bloggy friend who doesn't blog much anymore, wrote (on the now-defunct "Bringing Healthy Back" blog):

"Most people think this is the secret to weight loss:

Less food + more exercise = weight loss

Sounds pretty rational, doesn’t it? And, for the most part, I agree that this will get you that weight loss you’ve been desiring.

But, after nearly three decades of “dieting,” I think I’ve discovered that the secret to permanent weight loss is really this:

More self-discipline + less excuses = weight loss

Self-discipline. Willpower. Self-control. Overweight people love to say they “don’t have any of this” and that is why they consistently fail - and they are probably right. If you look back at the formula I put at the beginning of this post, you’ll see that I think self-discipline is a big key to losing the weight and NOT putting it back on again.

So…if we don’t have any, the question then becomes: How do we get it?

And the answer is: We grow it.

Set one goal per day and follow through on it. It doesn’t even have to be weight-loss related. Decide you’re going to sweep the kitchen floor or take down the Christmas lights (don’t get me started!) or fold the clothes in the laundry basket. Something. Pick something each day and commit to doing it for the entire week. It could be one thing you do every day or it could be a different goal you set each day but make it and follow through with it."

And I would go one step further and say, just commit to doing it that day. Don't think about the weeks, months, and years ahead. Just promise to do that one thing today.

Tomorrow morning, make that promise again. Remind yourself that you did it yesterday, it was no big deal, and that you felt great about it afterwards.

Do the same thing the day after tomorrow and the next day and the next... you get the idea. Before you know it, it'll be automatic and then you can add another goal to your daily routine.

For someone like myself, who very quickly loses enthusiasm when it becomes apparent how much work will be involved, this kind of short-term goal setting is crucial to success.

I don't want to think about how I might still be counting points a year from now ~ that's just discouraging. But just for today? I can so totally do that!

How about you?


WriterMarie said...

This is so true! Thank you for the extra kick in the butt that we all need from time to time. We can do this! :o)

Brooke said...

that is something i'm definitely lacking too.

Mesha said...

you are so right. one day at a time. this week i've been in a "funk" every since the competition ended on Monday - I need to get back to short term goals before I yell "STOP THE RIDE," and jump off this train. I can't quit now, too much is on the line.