How to build self discipline to achieve your fitness goals

As we all know, getting results is not an easy process; There is no magic pill to achieve your fitness goals, instead a combination of determination, passion, dedication and self-discipline is required. So how do we create an environment and a mindset that helps us to achieve those long-term goals without being derailed?

Create an environment that promotes your chances of being successfully disciplined. 

Reducing stress & fatigue is a good start on your journey to your goal of achieving consistency. Naturally, stress and fatigue cause feelings of lethargy, making a workout very unlikely. Of course, we all have days where stress cannot be avoided entirely; however we can reduce the frequency of days like this by ensuring that our environment is working with us not against us.

A good start is analysing your sleep patterns and routine. Without good quality sleep, your body will feel exhausted making that workout even less likely. For strengthening self discipline, set a routine bed time and limit the amount of time spent on your phone or iPad before bed. Maybe buy a book on self discipline instead of scrolling through Instagram? Depending on your work schedule, you can schedule power nap times or 5 minute meditation sessions to help keep your body and mind motivated and energised.

Removing environmental temptations will also aid in strengthening your self discipline. This will require sacrifice! Clear junk food out of the house and only store food in line with your fitness goals. Your family’s health will also most likely improve! Buying nutrient dense foods high in vitamins and minerals will support your immune system, helping you feel more energised and alert whilst avoiding sickness which can cause fatigue. If you find going to the shops too tempting, shop online.

Now for environmental realism: How far you have to travel to the gym is a factor which can throw people off their goal. If you know, realistically, you will not enter a class studio or go to the gym alone, get a PT to come to you directly.

Lastly be aware of fitness cynics! Your everyday social circle can challenge your self discipline journey. Make your social circle aware of your goals and if they don’t have your best interests at heart, you need to evaluate your circle. Supportive peers and family will help your willpower on social occasions.

Set goals and create challenges that you can conquer to strengthen your self-discipline 

Discipline is a habit you can strengthen, most likely in your lifetime you have done this without even realising. Self discipline is described most often as the ability to ‘control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses’. So if you wanted a promotion at work, chances are you have an idea of what you need to do to be considered for promotion. The skillsets required that may need improving, the drive and determination to achieve the criteria, the extra hours to show your dedication to the role. This is the same concept as achieving a fitness goal. Small seeds planted eventually blossom, but the process takes time and consistent effort.

How to create a mindset for self discipline?
  • Recording PBs (personal bests) is a great way of setting short term goals whilst giving yourself the recognition you deserve. Record your training and monitor your achievements. To hold yourself accountable, set new goals weekly.
  • Set a daily challenge for improving overall discipline such as a cold shower, walk to the shops instead of drive, do a workout instead of skip.
  • Journalling- try to keep a diary whereby you can track your day to day goals, note down your successes such as your PBs. You can even do this on a spreadsheet on your phone for ease.
  • Set short term goals as well as long term goals to keep you on track, Short term goals are achievable in the short term, such as i will exercises three times a week. A long term goal is your desired achievement such as losing 10 kilograms. Your short term goals should aid in helping you reach your longterm goal. Write down your specific goal (longterm) and visualise yourself achieving it. Look at your short term and long term goals daily, in a diary or on post it notes around the house then take action to achieve these goals.
  • Think about the immediate benefits of exercise? For example time away from the kids, increased overall energy, more pride, stress release, better sleep, better mood, clearer thinking; the list is endless…
  • Nudge yourself with reminders such as phone alarms, set a task on notes, post-it notes, diary entries to give yourself a push in the right direction. Helpful for booking sessions in, buying certain foods write a list.


A final word

The current climate is a particularly challenging one for maintaining self-discipline. However, If you shift your mindset and adapt your environment to support self-discipline during the most challenging of times, then it can become a habit when life is at its most positive.

Go forward and achieve folks, and remember PGPT is always here to support you!