The 2 Things You Absolutely Must Have In Your (Fitness) Life
by Marc A.
Hey you, come closer, I want to talk to you. You want to get fit? You want to lose weight? You want to gain weight?
You've been researching running plans? That's great! Ready to start changing the way you eat? Excellent! That is all great and you'll definitely need a great eating and exercise regimen to accomplish your fitness goals but there are two other things you MUST have that trumps even those.
What are those you might say? I'll tell you, DISCIPLINE AND CONSISTENCY.
Yes, my friend, you need discipline and consistency if you plan to reach your goals. Before we get into the whys let's define these two words (or let Webster define them).
Discipline: behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders.
Consistent: showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom.
We'll talk about these one at a time. Let's proceed...
Discipline is what gets you moving no matter what. Your body knows you should do it. Even if your mind tried to talk to you out of it, you tell it shut up and do it anyway. That's discipline. Motivation is great when you have it but motivation is fleeting. Some days you are raring to go but other days all you want to to is sleep or eat that cookie or buy that burger. You know what I mean. So motivation isn't good to rely on because there is room to falter but discipline is automatic. Discipline is routine. Discipline is come hell or high water, I'm going to get this done. There's no time for your mind to come into play because your body has already begun reacting.
Is it foolproof? Is it 100%? No, nothing is 100%, but it's the closest thing. Your new activity becomes a routine. Your routine becomes a habit. Your habit becomes a discipline. When you have discipline, it's harder to go off track.
So now how does one get discipline? I'm glad you asked that as well.
This is where consistency comes in.
In order to go from new to discipline, you NEED consistency. It's not an option. In the beginning, motivation may guide you. Whenever you're starting a routine and you're excited about it, motivation is always there and that's good! Let it coast you the first couple of weeks because regardless of what got you there, you're already starting to get used to the activity because you've done it for two weeks. Your body knows that at 7AM every morning you're going to work out and it's getting used to that routine. You're starting to get used to reaching for an apple and almonds instead of some sugary candy bar during snack time. It's starting to come together. After 3 weeks of being consistent, you have a habit. Now this doesn't mean you're disciplined yet. This just means that it's a part of your daily make up. It's becoming a part of you. On average, it takes about six weeks for it to become a true discipline. By that point, your brain kinda shifts it into neutral and doing what you're supposed to do becomes automatic.
But BE CAREFUL!
This is where so many people fall off. They get cocky then they lose focus and that discipline and consistency goes right out the window. You want to keep your mind from talking you out of your habit but you don't want to totally space out. That can sweep the rug out from under you without you even noticing. What needs to happen is you need to keep your brain on the goal and where you want to go. This can keep your motivation sparked but even if it doesn't, it keeps you cognizant of what the goal and that keeps the fires of discipline stoked.
While I used fitness as the example (I mean, this is a fitness blog and all), these principles can be applied to anything in your daily life. Any goals you set requires discipline and consistency especially if they're long term goals. You wake up with your goals in mind and you go chase your dreams. The difference between goals and dreams is action, i.e. discipline and consistency.
Are you ready to go get 'em?! I know you are...