Discipline is the difference between starting a goal and crossing the finish line. It is the putting of one foot in front of the other no matter the time it takes. It is the mechanism that allows you to do what you need to do regardless of how you feel.
The word discipline probably conjures up some childhood memories of punishment or deprivation. When I see the word discipline, I have the sudden urge to hide all of the belts in the house. A less harsh word is consistency. To get the physique you want, the health you want, you must eat healthy and exercise consistently.
Back in undergrad, 3 friends decided to do Jenny Craig together. They ate their pre-packaged meals and exercised consistently. Each lost significant weight. Those boxed meals for college students were not cheap. When they stopped eating out of those pre-packaged boxes, the weight came back plus some.
I myself have played the weight loss yo-yo game. Even now, I have gained and loss the same 5 lbs. Why? Not being disciplined, um, consistent. I can work out until the cows come home. My discipline issue is diet. I MUST MEAL PLAN. If I fail to plan, that is the week, I have planned to fail. If I do not, I fall back to those bad food habits. My Achilles being snacking.
Picture this - in my Sophia Petrillo voice - I come in from a hard day at work and stifling traffic. After, I change from my work clothes and settle in, I am looking for nourishment. The choice – find food, prep, cook, and then eat or grab a bag of chips and crash on the sofa. I was a bag of chips/sofa kind of chick for a minute. I would tell myself that I am working out and that would counter the caloric count of whatever snack I was substituting for dinner. I would even eat less for breakfast and lunch to accommodate such a diet. There was only one problem – I never lost more weight. I was stuck in this 5lbs yo-yo for months until I realized that I had to break up with the junk. To do this required me to use some good old-fashioned discipline. Going to the grocery store and buying fresh/frozen produce and not buying overly-processed foods. I also had to cook and EAT my own meals. I do this on the weekends to and store in containers in the fridge.
One of my Recipes - Gluten Free Enchiladas
Following that line of discipline for just a few days rid me of those 5lbs I had been struggling to lose. Doing the right thing on a consistent basis led to success. Conversely, the lack of discipline is the precursor to failure. This goes beyond diet. Having discipline in life is necessary to finish college, save for a house, give up smoking, or become a better version of you.
In what area of your life do you need more discipline?