Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Our lifestyle has a profound impact on our health; each activity that we do or don’t do daily determines how our body is able to cope with illnesses. From obesity to cancer, all major diseases can be traced back to something under our own control. Today, medications have become an accepted part of our life. What is disheartening is that most of these medications are to treat conditions which could be prevented just by a little discipline and self-control. But, self-discipline isn’t easy, like any other skill it requires patience and practice before it becomes a way of life. While giving in to impulses is easy, the consequences are too great. So, we’ve come up with steps for you to self-discipline your way to good health.
Stating Your Reason Clearly
A reason works as the motivational factor when you want to do something. Our ability to reason is what helps us make a decision, so it is imperative to decide what that reason is that is telling you to do a certain thing. For some, the reason to switch to a healthy lifestyle may be to avoid diseases. For others, it might be a good looking body. So, you need to make this point clear in your head. How does this help you? That will give you a clear picture of what you want to achieve and help you focus. Since the target is visible to you, it will become easier for you to draft an action plan.
So, if you want self-discipline to work for you, your first step should be to make your reason clear. Let’s say you want to give up on junk food, so ask yourself why you want to do that. Is it because you are gaining weight, or because it is causing you some health troubles? Once you have a clear reason, write it down. It will work as your motivational factor. So, whenever you will feel like giving up, you will have something to go back to and see why you actually started what you started.
Finding Your Weaknesses
Everyone has a weakness for something; it could be sleeping late or chocolate cupcakes. You need to understand what your weaknesses are so that you can work towards countering them. For someone whose aim is to avoid junk food, pizzas and burgers can act as a weakness. Here, out of sight out of mind approach can be followed. Replace all the junk food at your home with healthier alternatives. Avoid going to places that serve these types of food. Always carry something healthy like fruits and nuts with you so you don’t grab junk food when you’re hungry.
Formulating An Action Plan
Having an action plan is important as it helps in figuring out the steps that need to be followed. To be sure of your steps, make a to-do list on a weekly basis. It can include things like visiting the bank and grocery store. Even things you do for pleasure like watching a movie can be added to that list. This will help you use your time more efficiently. Prioritize your tasks as it can save you a lot of stress as you would already know what to do.
Of course with different goals, plans will differ. But it definitely gives a picture of how you can manage your time effectively. It saves you last moment stress and keeps your mind calm.
Keeping It Simple
An essential thing that you need to understand before starting on this self-discipline journey is that you cannot bring drastic changes in your life in a day. We often think that “from Monday I will completely stop eating junk” or “I will wake up at 5 in the morning”. But the thing is our body needs its own time to adapt to these changes. So when you plan, make sure that you add small changes. Don’t start lifting weights as soon as you decide to work out, start small, like walking every day and then gradually build it up from there. This will allow your body to adapt to change and help you stick to your plan and not abandon it due to high pressure.
Have A Backup Plan
No matter how much we plan our day, some days will come with unexpected events. You will have parties to attend, friends to meet, office events so on and so forth. These things can throw you in a tizzy if you don’t have a backup plan. Remind yourself of the “reason” whenever you go to such places. That way you won’t indulge in unhealthy activities and can continue working towards your goals. By giving yourself a backup plan you will also boost your will power making it easier to deal with situations.
So, don’t get scared of these days. Just remember your reason. Whenever you are going out and junk food pulls you, recall your reason and reach for the salad. Or eat something before you reach these places. This way you will not be very hungry and will be able to easily avoid temptations.
Rewarding And Forgiving Yourself
Remember how kids are praised and are given candies whenever they do something good. Their reward motivates them to continue performing well. Similarly, rewarding ourselves whenever we achieve a milestone is necessary. Whenever you are able to follow your to-do list for a week, reward yourself with something that makes you happy. It could be a lunch at a favourite restaurant or an outfit you’ve been eyeing for long.
There will be days when you just can’t push yourself. These days are a part of our lives and we cannot avoid them no matter what we do. So, on those days just do what you feel like doing without any guilt. This could be a sign that your body needs some rest. So just give what it wants. But jump right back to your routine the following day. Only then you’ll do justice to your decision.
Self-discipline is the key to success. Every big entrepreneur or celebrity has this in common. They committed to their dreams wholeheartedly and did not let their emotions make decisions for them. The same thing can work for you too. So, now is the time that you commit to your dreams.
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