Do you want to dramatically improve your life? Do you want build an attention-getting physique? Do you want to overcome your weak points? Self-discipline is the key! Nobody really likes to hear that term, because we know it implies painful effort. While the urge to back down from self-discipline is just human nature, it is essential for achieving any degree of success in bodybuilding – or anything else. I never got very far down the bodybuilding road until I learned how to discipline myself.
Now someone may say, “Steve, isn’t self-discipline something that is already understood? Is there really a need to write about it?” Judging from the number of people I’ve encountered who say they would like to exercise and diet but they “Just can’t”, it would appear that plenty of people out there need to put some self-discipline into practice!
Disciplining onesself is simply a matter of choosing behavior which will result in success rather than choosing to do whatever seems most gratifying at the time. While some people have developed a high level of self-discipline, others struggle with it. If you have problems with disciplining yourself, don’t fall to pieces over it because you can master yourself and take control of your life. In fact the results may surprise you and others around you as well! It is entirely possible. I was once very undisciplined until I determined that I was going to overcome it.
Unlike genetics, which can dictate a person’s bodybuilding potential to some extent, self-discipline isn’t something we are born with – it is learned and perfected over time. Just as a bodybuilder gets stronger over time through regular resistance training, so also self-discipline improves as it is put into continual and consistent practice over time.
So what can we do to improve our self-discipline? First of all, it is important realize that undisciplined behavior can have disastrous repercussions, leading to missed opportunities and regret. We all must make many small, seemingly insignificant decisions each and every day. Yet these little decisions, made over time, shape our lives. Where we are in life at this moment is the product of numerous past decisions we have made. Our actions begin with a choice made in the mind. Now more than ever it is essential to utilize self-discipline because the clock is ticking.
In addition to understanding the consequences of not following after disciplined behavior, it also starts with an intense, burning desire to reach a goal you have set for yourself. After all, what would be the point of trying to accomplish something if you didn’t really want it? Napoleon Hill, who many years ago wrote the book Think and Grow Rich, once said that ”Desire is the starting point of all achievement – not a hope, not a wish – but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” If you want to pursue bodybuilding badly enough, you will learn to do what it takes to get there. Decide you have had enough of the vicious circle created by undisciplined living.
There is another word which is not too well liked, which is willpower. Contrary to what some may say, willpower does work and is a very effective and important concept. It’s simply a matter of choosing to dismiss instant self-gratification and instead doing that thing which propels a person toward their goal. This gets easier with time, but can be very rough at first. As we make ourselves do the things that really need to get done, in time willpower will become more automatic and not so burdensome. The choice to exercise behaviors that will build and shape our lives must be made each and every day. Am I going to eat clean food today, or will I eat junk? It’s a daily choice, and no matter what your bodybuilding goal, clean dieting is a must.
Get rid of the “I can’t do this, I can’t do that” mentality. It’s really just a convenient excuse people use to avoid something that requires effort and dedication. What they really mean is that they don’t want to attempt something because it might be a troublesome task. Sure, we all like to make excuses at times, but there is no benefit to us in that. Don’t look for quick fixes and easy answers as so many people do. They don’t exist!
Prepare yourself mentally ahead of time. Know exactly what you must do before you do it. Make a list of tasks to be accomplished each day. Have you prepared your bodybuilding diet foods in advance? Do you have the next day’s training routine ready to go?
Another way to aid self-discipline is to seek out people who will hold us accountable for improving our lives. Connect with bodybuilders at the gym and online who will expect to see results from you. If you fail, be honest about it. We all stumble back into our old ways at times. Falling backwards should not be condoned, but it does happen. Just get up, get back on the road, and move on.
Self-discipline is entirely worthwhile although it may not seem to be so. The rewards can be tremendous. Keep these rewards in mind and never let them out of your sight! When people observe your disciplined behavior, some will compliment you, but others will be envious of your success. You just know you have set yourself apart from the crowd!
Don’t hesitate to learn to take control of your mind and discipline yourself. It can be done. Don’t give up when you fail. Keep at it. Take hold of self-discipline and master your life!
By Steve Haymond
Gainweightspot.com Contributing Writer
Steve may be contacted at Stevehaymond@lavabit.com