How to Build Self-Discipline for Working Out
It’s human nature to avoid change and continue following the behaviors and habits we’ve already created, so to break free of those patterns and build self-discipline for working out, it’s going to take some initial effort. Let’s delve into how you can get better at sticking to your workout routine by improving your self-discipline, so you’ll be on your way to hitting those #goals.
Step 1: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
More often than not, people tend to fight against their natural tendencies to follow a fitness routine they believe is best. This decision is often influenced by outside factors, like the long-held belief that working out in the morning makes you more productive or that you have to work out every day to see results.
While these kinds of beliefs may be true for others, they may not be best for what you need to help you stay disciplined.
That’s why it’s important to identify your specific strengths and weaknesses, so you can develop a fitness routine that sets you up for success from the beginning. You’ll find it much easier to stay disciplined if you play into your current strengths rather than trying to correct your weaknesses.
Here's a quick example of how to play to your strengths for self-discipline:
Julie is constantly struggling to wake up early because she prefers to sleep in. She’s tried many times to wake up before work to hit the gym, but she often skips her workouts by hitting snooze instead.
However, Julie enjoys going out after work to hang out with friends or try new activities. So, she starts scheduling workouts in the evening instead, which has allowed her to stay consistent with her routine, as it fulfills her desire to go out after work.
This is an excellent example of how being in tune with your strengths can help you develop better self-discipline for working out. So, take a moment to think about your personal strengths and how you can use them to your advantage when creating your fitness routine.
Step 2: Define your plan of action.
Once you know what you’re working with (a.k.a. those strengths and weaknesses you just identified), you can develop a dedicated plan of action for your new disciplined routine. Keep in mind, your plan should be as specific as possible, so you don’t leave any wiggle room for vague interpretations. The more refined your plan is from the beginning, the harder it will be for excuses or setbacks to derail you.
One way you can develop a strong plan is by setting SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.
Some examples of SMART goals are:
- I will work out at 9Round three days per week for the next three months.
- I will eat one serving of fruit per day during breakfast.
- I want to lose at least 10 pounds by the end of the year.
- I will eat one serving of vegetables with dinner during the workweek.
Adding tangible actions like these to your plan will help you foster stronger self-discipline because you know exactly what the expectations are from the start. Self-discipline thrives off clearly defined goals, so explicitly stating your intentions is the best way to reduce your chances of not following through.
Once you have your fitness roadmap in place, it’s time to start working toward your goals by limiting the excuses and making way for new habits.
Step 3: Limit the Excuses
It’s time to stop making excuses for why you can’t stick to your fitness routine and start living up to your full potential—this is key to building stronger self-discipline.
People often make excuses to shift the blame from themselves to an external factor to help them feel better when they make a mistake or don’t follow through. But your excuses, even when they may be valid, are only holding you back from achieving your fitness goals.
So, how do you overcome those excuses?
First, you have to recognize that the excuses you’re making are likely tied to your limiting beliefs about yourself. Before you can reach your goals, you have to believe that you are capable of hitting them in the first place.
Start believing that you are deserving of what you want and that you can overcome any challenges that stand in your way. This will make it harder for your excuses to disrupt your discipline.
Now that you’ve put those limiting beliefs to rest, it’s time to shift your perspective. One reason we let excuses affect our behavior is because we feel they are out of our control. However, you are ultimately in control of your actions.
You can face problems that arise as opportunities and change the way you react, or you can continue to let those setbacks prevent you from reaching your goals.
It’s obvious which choice is the better option, so what’s one way you can feel more in control? Plan your workouts like you would any other important event. Pencil in time for your wellness routine and make it a true priority.
Don’t let other things that come up stop you from making this critical appointment with yourself. Ultimately your wellness is something that affects all aspects of your life, which is why it deserves to be a significant part of your life.
Step 4: Make room for new habits.
If your goal is to enhance your self-discipline, you’re likely in the process of integrating fresh habits into your daily routine. Making room for these new habits is essential to effectively work toward your fitness goals.
One way that you can effectively introduce new habits is by tacking them onto a current habit you already do consistently—this is referred to as habit stacking. Habit stacking is backed by scientific research, and to put it into simple terms, it takes advantage of well-developed neurons in your brain to make forming new habits easier.
As a quick example, let’s say you’re already spending 10 minutes every night packing up for work the next day. To habit stack on top of this behavior, you could make organizing your gym clothes part of this process. This makes it easier for you to grab your gym bag in the morning, so you can’t use forgetting your clothes as an excuse for not working out.
Habit stacking can work for all sorts of new habits that are related to your health and fitness goals. Here are a few more examples to help you brainstorm what to start habit stacking in your life:
- After I start my coffee in the morning, I will take my daily supplements.
- After I eat lunch, I will go for a short walk.
- After I take off my work clothes, I will immediately put on my workout clothes.
- After I check my email in the morning, I will drink a glass of water.
Now that you’re equipped with the proper tools for cultivating stronger self-discipline, it’s time to take action! Start using the tools and tactics above to enhance your fitness routine. If you’re still searching for the perfect workout to help you reach your goals, then make sure you sign up for your free session at 9Round now!