Self Discipline:  The Workout Over the Couch and the Cauliflower Over the Donut

This is probably not the most fun sounding topic for a blog post, I’m aware.  If self discipline was a dad he’d be the one who flips the breaker just when the house party starts getting fun. 

But self discipline is one of the most essential components of a life well lived.  We can have the passion, great ideas, and marvelous intentions but we’re not going to accomplish a darn thing without the self discipline to do the hard stuff that’ll get us where we want to be.   I think it’s pretty rare that just left to our own unchecked, natural state that we’re going to consistently choose the workout over the couch or cauliflower over the donut.

So if self discipline feels like a kill joy, let’s try to frame it up in a way that makes us not resent it’s necessity but see it as a means to progression and developing into our best selves.

“If you do what is easy, life will be hard.  If you do what is hard, life will be easy.”

This is one of my favorite sayings.  I reflect on it ALL the time when I find myself procrastinating or complaining about something I don’t want to do.  I’m working at not giving too much advice to people in my life (like, what do I know?) but if I do, it’s often just the quote above.

The concept seems to work in so many situations.  If you have solid values and a good handle on yourself (what you need to do to make yourself happy and fulfilled), chances are when faced with a challenge or a problem, doing the HARD thing is likely exactly what you need to do.

It’s HARD to get up early.  It’s hard to work an extra couple hours.  It’s hard to choose the broccoli.  Its hard to say yes to a challenging project or job. It’s hard to do that one extra workout.  It’s hard to make a big change.  It’s hard to be a good mother, partner or friend sometimes.  Its hard to have a real, vulnerable conversation.

But the end result of each and every one of these hard things, will make life as it moves forward, easier.  You’ll feel so accomplished at the end of your day after getting up early and maybe you’ll finally find time to read that book.  You’ll gain recognition and financial love at work when you put in that extra effort.  You’ll burst with self confidence when you pull on those skinny jeans.  You’ll develop more character when you tackle big challenges.  You’ll have the energy and strength to try a new activity and perhaps end up finding an undiscovered passion.  You’ll find the people you have been there for, are there for you, when life gets hard.

Take your weakness and make it your strength   At the Hit, I always love to ask girls what their least favorite station is on the circuit and I challenge them to make it become their favorite.  The exercises we dislike the most are usually the ones we need most.  They reveal what our weaknesses are and give us the opportunity to turn that weakness into strength. 

Life gets easier as we get better…but we only get better when we tackle the tough stuff.  Let’s just take training as an example.  It’s hard but if we make ourselves do it, life gets easier.  In straightforward practical ways, like chasing the kids at the park without getting out of breath.  Less directly obvious ways as well, like how having a healthy body image and self-confidence contributes to so many areas of your life like walking into a room full or strangers easier or killing that job interview.  Life gets easier as we get better.

Don’t wait to feel like it  This is a biggie, I tell ya. It’s so easy to say “I don’t feel like doing this ‘insert hard thing here’ right now.”  You’re probably never going to feel like it.  And this is where self discipline shows up.  So move past that.  Take the emotion out of it.  You know what it is that you need to do.  So whether you feel like it or not is irrelevant.  Do it.  And all the good feelings you could possibly want will come AFTER you’ve done the hard thing.

When faced with a ‘what to do’ situation, don’t be afraid to ask yourself ‘what’s the hard thing here?’ The answer is probably exactly what you need to do.  Then channel that self discipline and see it through.

We just can’t wait to see what you’re going to do.

How To Take a Day from Okay to Spectacular

“Life is a series of moments. The quality of attention and action that we bring to each moment determines the quality of our lives.” – Dan Millman

Thinking about the quote above, doesn’t it motivate you like crazy to do whatever it is you can to take the quality of your current state and just up it to the max?
Below are a few suggestions, our favorite ways to ensure we give ourselves the best chance we can to have the best day we can.

(Most of these ideas are pretty simple, things you’ve already heard before but we all need reminders on a regular basis or we find ourselves slipping into patterns of behaviour and thoughts that don’t blow the doors off our days.)

  1. Give some thanks – Gratitude might seem a touch trendy these days but the truth is it works. Choosing to focus on and be grateful for the fantastic things in our life is a direct route to feeling more peace and happiness. Who doesn’t want that??

  2. Eat green stuff – Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. Fruit, fruit, fruit. Just think whole foods crammed full of micro nutrients. Food doesn’t need to be anything obsess over. Eat clean and eat consciously.

  3. Perform an act of service – ‘The only love we keep is the love we give away.’ Life isn’t fulfilling when it’s selfish and only consists of me me me. Find a way to give to someone and do it with a heart full of all that love stuff.

  4. Sweat – Endorphins are one of nature’s best drugs. That rush of feel good after an intense workout is downright euphoric. A daily workout is also a solid confidence booster and offers great feelings of accomplishment. Regular exercise manifests a better attitude, more energy and the mental and physical strength to go out there and take on life in all its amazing craziness.

  5. Chase a dream – We’re meant to have dreams – they give us a purpose and an excitement for the future and just because yours hasn’t come true yet doesn’t mean it won’t. Take one tiny step (or giant step!) towards one of your dreams every day. Taking action is where the magic happens. (If you haven’t got a dream yet, take a quiet moment with yourself. It’s in there. 😉

  6. Hydration – Have you heard about this miracle drink? It’ll improve your health, boost your complexion, aid in digestion, reduce headaches, help you think clearer, generate energy and a million other incredible benefits. Step up, step up get your free sample of…..WATER. But actually. Just drink more. You think you’re drinking enough. You’re not. Drink more.

  7. Face a fear – Getting out of our comfort zone (and surviving!) is the biggest self confidence creator out there. If you can get a handle on real self confidence and self love, the world is fully and completely your oyster. So pick a thing, anything that makes you put up a little resistance, and tackle it! You’ll walk a little taller after.

  8. Just take a sec – Our world can be like one crazy, non stop carnival ride complete with so many bright colors and lights, loud noises and fast moving objects that it can feel like your brain is short circuiting. We honestly just gotta get off the ride sometimes. Make a point to find a little stillness and silence. There’s a million different ways do it and no matter what your life may look like, you can find some time to stop and focus on nothing but nothing. Your brain will be ever so grateful you got off The Gravitron for a moment.

  9. Connect your soul to another’s – Oh, those people. The ones that just ‘get’ you. After you spend time with them you feel full. These relationships are so divine. And they’re so needed. You become like those who you surround yourself with so be sure to surround yourself with those that inspire, support and energize you.

  10. Natural life – Einstein said “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” We’ re all part of a great big earth and we’re in this whole beautiful mess together. Spending a moment with nature helps us connect with ourselves and the rest of humanity. If you have access to the Great Outdoors, go for it but it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Pet a dog. Smell a flower. Look at the moon. Man, even just stare at the herb garden in your window. Let our natural world fill you with awe and remind you what a blessed adventure we’re on.

Some of these you may be able to implement every day, others maybe not. That’s ok. *shoulder shrug* Being generally consistent with practices like these, while accepting the inevitable ebbing and flowing of life, will help give you more control over the awesomeness of every single, one of your days.

See you on the mats 🙂