Healthful Living 101: Self-discipline

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A healthy life is a disciplined life. Self-discipline is the ability to control your feelings and overcome your weaknesses; the ability to pursue what you think is right despite temptations to abandon it. Discipline is important because it brings stability and structure to your life, by forcing you to make certain beneficial decisions. Discipline limits obsessive behaviors and promotes healthy ones. Overcoming a weakness is a very important part of self-discipline, as essentially this is the reason for having discipline.

The key to self-discipline is consistency. Consistency is conformity in the application of something. Therefore, if self-discipline is to be maintained you must hold true to your disciplinary goal, without faltering. We’ll use weight control again as an example. If the three days you picked to work out are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, no matter what, you should consistently go to the gym on the days, to the point that it becomes a habit and a natural part of your life routine.

So many make the mistake of keeping tempting situations in front of them, whilst trying to develop self-discipline. Unless you have incredibly high self-control, it will be virtually impossible to stay disciplined if tempting factors constantly surrounds you. Once again we’ll use the weight control as example. So, you already committed to going the gym three times a week, no matter what; however, one day on the way to the gym, you hear that Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts today. The route you regularly take to the gym will take you right past Krispy Kreme, but to avoid a tempting situation, you decide to take a different route, and so preserving your dietary program. Decisions like this will make maintaining self-discipline successful.

The last key to maintaining self-discipline is to be able to forgive yourself and move forward when a mistake is made. No one is perfect and we’ll all make mistakes sometimes. So don’t let your mistakes weigh you down, brush yourself off and pick up where you started, don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. So many times people that are trying to maintain self-discipline mess up then go into a downward cycle, and in the case of weight control, they gain back or lose all the weight they worked so hard to lose or gain. Don’t let that be you. The next time you fall, be prepared to get straight back up.

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