There are so many choices and temptations in everyday life that make it so difficult to stay disciplined. Unplanned happy hours. Impromptu dinner parties. A detour to the coffee shop where you’re faced with attempting to pick a small drip coffee with skim over a large s’mores latte (yes, it exists, and yes, it’s amazing…like there’s a mini campfire and tent in your cup and tiny little baristas are singing kumbaya in your ear. Now that’s hard to resist.)
If you’re anything like Veruca Salt and me, you want what you want when you want it, and you want it now. Except that the other thing that you may want, besides beer and French fries and Starbucks calorie bombs, is to lose weight. And sometimes it seems like life, in its very nature, is strategically designed to detract you from that goal.
How do we develop discipline? What is it about a goal or a dream that makes us want to stick to it? That makes us so hungry for that achievement that we can forgo all the temptations and avoid all the distractions and tirelessly, relentlessly pursue that which we desire?
I ask myself this because discipline comes and goes in my life. I find myself on a streak of 8 or 10 days in a row of working out, eating healthy, avoiding all indulgences without a problem, because my focus is clear and my resolve is strong. But then an opportunity to go out for drinks with coworkers presents itself, or a tired day where going to the gym just seems impossible, and I feel sidelined. Distracted. Lost. Undisciplined. It takes effort to remind myself that all is not forgotten just because I confuse what I want NOW with what I want MOST. I still have my goals, and just have to get back on track.
I love the image below because I think it describes how success, and therefore discipline, happens. Even the toughest of the tough and the strongest of the strong get sidetracked and sidelined. I think discipline is when you keep going in that direction and getting back on track no matter how many times you fall off the straight and narrow.
I always say, eyes on the prize. Stay as disciplined as you can, but within reason. What’s the point of working out to look and feel awesome if you can’t go out and enjoy it? Your feet will naturally wander off the direct path to the prize, but always keep your eyes on it. Even if it’s blurry because you’re looking at it through a frosty cold glass of beer that just can’t be resisted.
How do you stay disciplined? If you want to explore more about this topic, I highly recommend this TED Talk!