When you’re in the process of developing a long-term fitness habit, what skills do you have that support you in this pursuit? One of the most impactful skills is self-discipline.

Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “I didn’t realize self-discipline is a skill.” you’re not alone. But it’s true. Just like you can get better at skills like muscle-ups, speaking a new language, or cooking, you can become more disciplined.

Why is Self-Discipline Important?

Discipline drives your ability to create a healthy habit. It’s what can step in to help you on days when you’re not motivated or excited to go work out. When your alarm goes off at 5am, and you just want to go back to bed, discipline is the voice inside your head that says, “Get up.” Or let’s say you walk into the gym and see all your least favorite movements on the board. Rather than phoning it in, you tell yourself you’re going to suck it up and do the best you can. That’s discipline.

Discipline vs. Motivation

Discipline is how you get stuff done. It’s how you accomplish goals and get results. And it’s not the same as motivation.

Motivation has its place in a workout routine. It’s a great feeling to be motivated and ready to conquer all your goals. Motivation might be what you needed to get started, but the problem is that it’s not a constant. To build a sustainable habit, discipline is the skill that will keep you going.

Here are a few suggestions on how to build the skill of self-discipline:

1. Take small steps.

Give yourself a chance to build discipline by taking small and manageable steps. Rather than telling yourself that you’re going to work out every day for a month, start with something more realistic. Establish consistency by working out three days a week. Then build from there.

2. Create your own system.

There are no magic formulas or secret systems to developing self-discipline. The best method is going to be the one that works for you. And unfortunately, change won’t happen overnight. Take some time to think about what you need to do to be successful. Maybe it’s time to set goals or revise your current goals. Or, perhaps starting a workout journal would help.

3. Plan for obstacles.

What are the obstacles that have gotten in your way in the past? Has it been a lack of motivation or patience? What has stopped you from being disciplined and consistent in the past? Once you have that narrowed down, come up with ways to conquer your common obstacles. How will you deal with a lack of motivation? What can you do when it feels like you’re not making any progress. Come up with solutions that will keep you from giving up in the future. And then, get to work.

To learn more about the programs we’re currently offering at MagMile CrossFit, contact us today.