The secrets of self-discipline...
What stands between you and the diet goal you have set yourself? Everyone has self-discipline to some extent, but perhaps not as much as they would like.
What is the key to achieving the body you want? The answer is your self-discipline - your ability to control yourself and overcome weakness for personal improvement.
Most of my clients are able to eat more sensibly when their trousers are getting tight and choose to eat less sensibly when it’s Christmas. Your nutritional decisions are a choice. When you stand at the counter in a coffee shop, you are choosing to either buy black coffee or something with far more calories. You are choosing to exercise your self-discipline or your lack of it. You are choosing to have the body you want or the body you’ve got. Self-discipline is a series of choices, making sure nothing and no-one stands in your way.
Part of a nutrition adviser’s job is to inspire people to make the right choices throughout the day, thus increasing their clients’ self-discipline and gaining results. This can be done in a variety of ways such as motivational texts or tweets, weekly weigh-ins, measurements or a weekly countdown towards the goal date.
Most people are aware of the basic ins and outs of good nutrition but their daily choices make it hard to put into practice. If it was easy we would all be walking around with trim and toned beach bodies the whole time. Our body is just an image of what we do. If we want to look fit and healthy, we have to become fitter and healthier and that takes an incredible amount of self-discipline.
your ability to plan your nutritional day is the only way to make your goals achievable. Where are you going? What is available there? Does it suit your new regime? If not, what have you prepared to take with you? This may mean packing food into plastic boxes to take with you and eat cold. This is the difference between those who have found their self-discipline and those who haven’t. It takes a small amount of time and can be prepared the night before. If you have everything with you that you need then you are far less likely to stray from your regime and into the nearest shop for snacks! The choices you make throughout the day will be easier. Do I eat the food I have prepared and brought with me, or do I buy something of less nutritional value? The right choice will be far easier than trying to choose a ‘healthy’ option from a menu. At the end of your first day evaluate what you did, how it worked and what you can do differently for tomorrow. You will find you have to keep your goal at the forefront of your mind. Otherwise it’s easy to forget and slip back into your old habits.
Circle of support
If you are surrounded by moaners making ill-advised nutritional decisions, it will be easy to follow suit.
Surround yourself with like-minded, strong willed positive people with the same goals as you. If you don’t know any now is your chance to meet some new people or convert the people you know to join you. Make sure everyone you come into contact with is as focused as you are. This becomes vitally important to keep the consistency you need to achieve your nutritional goals. If your usual friends will make it hard for you to maintain your self-discipline, join classes, groups and perhaps a gym. The new people you meet will be far more accepting of you and your choices, plus they won’t know you used to eat differently.
Good luck in your quest. Stay focussed. Stay strong. Buy more plastic boxes and remember - your self-discipline is a series of choices. Choose wisely.
Do you want to learn more about how to motivate and promote self-discipline in your clients? Our new Behaviour Change Coaching course will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to help your clients achieve their goals. It features the Formula4Change system, a step-by-step process designed to help you easily assess clients and choose the right strategies and techniques to facilitate positive behaviour change. Read more about our Behaviour Change Coaching course here
Written by Heather Oakes