Ah, the New Year is upon us. I don’t know about you, but when I think “New Year,” I think resolutions. And if you’re reading this post, I’m guessing one of your goals for the upcoming months is to lose weight/ get in shape/ start eating better/ etc. Continue reading for some discipline strategies that won’t have you abandoning your resolutions by January 3rd.
1) TAKE FETUS STEPS
When working on a goal, it’s not unusual for people to go all gung ho Monday morning, only to slip up on Wed and then give up altogether by Fri.
It’s important not to bite off more than you can chew, pun definitely intended, before new habits have been put into place.
I recommend taking not just baby steps, but “fetus” steps to keep you from overwhelming yourself. When I say fetus steps, I mean teeny tiny little changes where you won’t even feel the pinch.
Here are a few examples…
-Leave one lonely bite on your plate for a week. If that’s still too much, leave a morsel, a kernel, a bean, anything that proves to yourself that you are in control. After that first week, try leaving a second bite or another bean.
-Add in one measly minute of cardio for a week. If you haven’t started an exercise plan yet, walk to the corner of your street and back. During the second week, add another minute to your workout or walk to the corner and then continue on for another 20 feet before turning around.
-If you add a bunch of cream and sugar to your morning coffee, start measuring how much you normally put in. That way, you know the amount you are using. Then for the first week, start leaving the tiniest bit out. The second week, leave a little more behind and so on and so forth.
2) CREATE AN ADVENT CALENDAR
Everyday you meet your goal, reward yourself with a treat from your advent calendar. You can find pretty easy ones to make on Pinterest. Simply go to the website, type “advent calendar” in the search bar and a whole slew of them will pop up. Your treat can be a piece of high quality dark chocolate OR…
1) Go out and buy small non-edible goodies such as a fabulous lip balm, a magazine or book you’ve been dying to read, a new smartphone case, WHATEVER!
2) Write the name of each object on its own small piece of paper and fold it up.
3) Mix them altogether, so you don’t know which one is which, and place one piece of paper in each day of your calendar.
4) Now, after a day of kicking some butt, you have a little surprise to look forward to.
Optional: For an extra special treat, if you have a super sweet husband, boyfriend, significant other, friend, etc., have them hide the prizes in different spots throughout your home. (When doing this, they should be the ones to write what the object is on the paper, so they can add where it is they hid it.)
Now, when you pull the paper out at the end of the day, you get to go find it. This way, your treat will be more rewarding, since you won’t have all of the goods right there at your fingertips.
And if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making one, just get a jar and place all the pieces of paper in there!
3) TELL ALL ABOUT IT (OR DON’T)
There are a lot of articles out there these days telling you not to express your goal to everyone. They say when you state an aspiration to the people around you, subconsciously, your brain thinks you have already reached your objective. This will cause you to be content without putting your nose to the grindstone.
Even though I understand where they’re coming from, I don’t know if I agree with this way of thinking.
From personal experience, when I share a goal that I’m working on with my family and friends, I want to make damn sure I complete it, merely because I don’t want to look like a failure if I give up.
Telling people about my intentions holds me accountable, as opposed to keeping tight lipped.
However, if that puts too much pressure on you and it produces anxiety every time you meet up with pals (because you aren’t as far along as you think you should be on your plan, and you are afraid of what people might think), keep your goal under wraps.
4) MAKE A TO DO/ALREADY DONE LIST
Write out a to do list and add things you’ve already completed for the day. This is a little tip that has helped get my unmotivated butt started when I am faced with a lengthy list.
Whether it’s something as small as brushing your teeth or calling to make a doctor’s appointment, it doesn’t matter, write that sucker down, so you can see the actions you have already carried out.
Being able to cross it off your list will give you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention a little boost to tackle some of the other “to do’s.”
5) TEN MINUTE RULE
Whether it’s working out, cleaning your house or starting on a project for work, if you have no desire do something, try the ten minute rule.
Do it for ten minutes and then see how you feel. Most of the time, you will have gotten into the groove of whatever it is you’re doing and just continue on.
Sometimes though, you are still not in the mood after time is up and that’s okay. At least you gave it a shot and got in 10 minutes worth!
6) VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WILL FEEL LIKE IF YOU DON’T DO X, Y OR Z
When I wake up in the morning and I’m lying there in my comfy, warm bed, I think to myself, “If I skip the gym today, I can sleep an extra hour and a half!”
But then I remember what happens when I don’t workout. I feel guilty, I regret not getting out of bed earlier and I kinda beat myself up for the rest of the day.
So in order to avoid feeling like a gigantic cow patty, I roll out of bed and get ready. And you know what? There has never been a time where I feel remorse for fitting my workout in.
Be on the look out for part two of “17 Ways to Amp Up Your Self-Discipline” coming up in the next day or two!
Happy New Year!