5 Ways to Stay Disciplined in Tough Times

These days, motivation can sometimes run short.  We discussed why motivation will let you down several months back and now, we are going to give you some thoughts on how to stay disciplined when the motivation isn’t enough.

  1. Find your why.  What is the reason for you to get up at 5AM and lift weights?  Why are you so focused on getting that promotion at work?  You need to understand “why” you are trying to commit yourself to your goals and tasks in your life.  If you cannot even identify your reasons for doing something, it is highly unlikely you will continue to do them even if you are disciplined.
  2. Stay on task but, mix it up.  More now than ever, everyday can blend into the next.  It is literally like Groundhog’s Day.  Maybe you have been doing a very good job of staying disciplined and getting it done but, maybe your routine is becoming well, too routine.  Mix it up a bit.  If pre-COVID you were lifting weights a few days a week, doing Muay Thai and doing jiu jitsu but now, you are just lifting weights in your basement and walking on a treadmill, then you’re probably bored off your ass.  Go for a walk outside.  Hit the heavy bag.  Skip some rope.  Change up your routine while staying on task and getting it in.
  3. Don’t make excuses for yourself.  We all have reasons why we can’t get something done.  Tired, busy, hurt, lack of ability etc.  Great so, how are you going to overcome these challenges if you do not get it done?  There are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to accomplish something you previously set your eyes on but, these are rare and few compared to just plain old excuses.  Do not allow yourself to let yourself off the hook.  
  4. Acknowledge the need for a break, call it a break, and take it.  #3 above says don’t make excuses.  So, don’t make an excuse, just say you need a break and take the break.  Take a day off from lifting.  Eat whatever you want for a day.  Take a day off from work.  People who say they just get after it 24/7 are pretty much full of shit.  If you are burning out, take a break and then get back on the horse.  Make sure the break is structured with a specific timeline and all your variables are covered.  Then, stick to the plan and get back on it.
  5. Discipline is not motivation so stop mixing the two.  Discipline is getting something done when you don’t want to, when you don’t feel like it, when you lack the motivation to do it.  Discipline is getting after it day after day regardless of circumstances.  It is through this discipline that you become a dedicated individual who does not allow challenges to get in the way of the goal.  You do not rely on motivational quotes, music, a paycheck or a high five to drive you.  You get it down because that is what you do.

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