My recent absence from this site is explained by my going on holiday, and I before I went I elected to impose a new discipline upon myself. It wasn’t and isn’t intended to be a long term project, but it was just a ‘see if I could’ idea. The objective was to see if I could go for a 1 mile run as soon as I got out of bed for the 6 mornings away. Seems easy?
For some. For me, I haven’t run a meaningful distance since about 2016 because of recurring leg-related injuries that don’t lend themselves to pounding pavements, (I did a 3-miler a while ago to see if I could – I could, but it caused a week of limping.) added to my discovery of the ‘joys’ of road cycling as a means to exercise and control weight, meant that running is not pleasant. Nor is getting out of bed.
I did it. As soon as I rose each morning, I shaved, dressed and ran out of the door. One morning, because of that day’s plans, I was out by about 6.30AM.
It was hateful, painful even. Some mornings, particularly the latter ones after experiencing the pain from the earlier days, I lay there desperately trying to justify largesse. And, every morning, I remembered two pieces of input. One was that of speaker Mel Robbins, who advises the 5-second countdown to action – decide what to do, and then give yourself 5-4-3-2-1 GO. It can be quite effective.
The other input was my own. I have a mantra that I have discovered makes it easier to do the difficult. In a pre-2021 exercise developed by the late Jinny Ditzler, author of ‘Your Best Year Yet’ (see www.byypro.com) , I identified several ‘rules’ that related to past successes and behaviours that had served me. I recommend it, but use the book – the site, while excellent, is an expensive luxury.
The particular guideline I used to get out of bed and run was ‘I Make, and Act Upon, the Hard Choices.’* Just remembering it can get me going. It gets me going because I came up with it, and past experience tells me that it works. So lying there bemoaning the commitment, I recalled my own advice and got up. 10 paces in, it was all old news, anyway.
So here’s my advice.
Decide upon a short-term imposition o yourself that requires self-discipline. Even if it’s not intended to last it will firm up your discipline ‘muscle’ for those things that will require more effort. It could be ‘drink only water for 7 days’, or ‘no chocolate for a week’, or it could be more ambitious depending on your situation and your particular need. If you’re already slim, cutting out things you rarely use anyway is hardly a stretch. Be bold.
Find something you don’t enjoy, something in respect of which doing it will serve you, even for a short period. And carry out that commitment.
It is yours, after all.
*I’ve used that for a lot of hard decisions, lately.
For more on self-discipline, get the book The Three Resolutions from Amazon HERE – only £9.80 for 300 pages…..