Let’s talk about the “D” word.

As a wellness coach, I have worked with a variety of clients in different aspects of wellness such as fitness, mental health in areas like managing anxiety and depression, mindset coaching, health and wellness and so on. After doing this for 10 years or so, I have picked up on some really important attributes that are crucial if a client is going to be successful in making long term behaviour change.

Attributes such as persistence, commitment, resilience, patience and so on.

There is one word that comes into play when we start to look at all of these attributes and how they influence behaviour change in any aspect of life. This word in a sense is encapsulated in all of the different attributes and it is a key determining factor in whether someone will be successful long term or not.

That word is discipline. Ugh right?.

Discipline is defined in the Google dictionary as “train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way”.

The benefits of cultivating self discipline are numerous but I will just mention a few here such as;

  • more stability
  • less anxiety
  • helps you achieve your goals
  • the consistent habit of sticking to your goal and being able to control/manage your emotions and feelings and actions will boost your self confidence and self esteem as you see yourself achieving your goals one at a time
  • being disciplined also makes you a lot more resilient which means that you are able to cope better with challenges and in the long run, this will make you a happier person.

Discipline is about learning how to do something repeatedly even when you don’t feel like doing it, Discipline is really about creating habits and if we do this well enough, this could be habits that last for a lifetime. Remember, most of our behaviour is habitual so if we can substitute bad habits with better/good habits, then we will start to see our lives change for the better.

Discipline requires you to push past your emotions and this is extremely important because when it comes to doing something new, that we are not used to and that may feel quite uncomfortable, we need to be able to ignore that little voice in our head that tries to deter us. We can’t afford to give in to our emotions because our emotions will be predominantly led by the thoughts we have about what we are about to do.

Excuses like i am too tired, I don’t feel like it, it hurts, its uncomfortable quickly come to the surface when we are being asked to do new things to improve our wellness such as wake up earlier, not hitting the snooze button, make time to meditate or to exercise, Journalling, gratitude practise, eat less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables and so on and so forth.

Now the logical part of our mind may even remind us that these things are good for us and we know if we keep doing them, even thought it may be uncomfortable in the short run, In the long run, we will benefit greatly. nonetheless, we feel powerless to resist our emotions because lets face it being disciplined is hard work and this is why many people never succeed with reaching their goals.

So how can we cultivate discipline in our lives so we can achieve our goals?

Here are a few tips that may help you;

  • The first one is pretty simple; don’t wait for it to feel right. As I just mentioned above, we have to ignore our feelings pretty much when it comes to discipline. If we waited till it felt right, we would never do most of the things we need to do to change our lives. This is because changing your life means stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a risk, something most of us would rather avoid. So don’t wait for it to feel right. Just go ahead and do what you are meant to do when you said you would do it.
  • The second tip is to Set goals and Hold yourself accountable.
  • The third is to start small, set small achievable goals rather than large ones so you don’t get overwhelmed
  • Next is to get an accountability buddy, someone who can check up on you and who you’ve given permission to tell you when you’re not doing what you should be doing
  • The final tip is to create an environment that supports your goals and make sure you start prioritising your daily activities so you can get things done.

I hope you find these tips useful and if you do have any further questions on how to cultivate discipline or any other wellness related questions, feel free to send me an email at tayokutiwrites@gmail.com.

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