Learning Discipline: A Beginner’s Guide

Disciplined lifters

Disciplined lifters | Thinkstock

Discipline: It’s the one essential element that can make or break you. Without discipline, many aspects of your life would fall into disarray you would lose your job, your physical and mental health would spiral out of control, and your relationships would quickly break. The truth is, we practice discipline all day every day, in a variety of forms. Whether it’s waking up in time to catch the bus, making a wise decision about what to eat for lunch, or going to bed at a reasonable hour discipline is what holds our lives together.

If you know or have seen an incredibly undisciplined person in action, you know just how much of a dumpster fire their life can be. Is your life in a similar state of discomposure? What can you do to become disciplined? How can you learn to instill a sense of discipline, and gain a sense of control?

The first vital thing to realize is that discipline is all about control. The word itself is a derivative of “disciple,” meaning to accept and follow a set of rules or instructions. In terms of fitness and health, those rules or instructions are up to you, and will ultimately be determined by your goals and aspirations. By instilling a sense of discipline, you’re setting up guidelines for yourself, and focusing on building mental toughness.

That way, when you hit what author Stephen Pressfield refers to as “Resistance” be it in a craving for a Twinkie, the wanting to stay up all night and play Call of Duty, or the desire to skip a workout you’ll be ready to cast those feelings aside.

You’re adopting a warrior ethos. An unflinching and unrelenting sense of responsibility to yourself. Once you have adopted the right mindset, you can do anything. You can lose all of that weight, or pack on some muscle. You can get a new, better job. Any of your goals are achievable.

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