Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Willpower Vs Discipline

Definition: Willpower - control of ones impulses and actions - self control

Definition: Discipline - training to act in accordance to rules

 "I don't have the willpower to give up chocolate/lollies etc...."  I don't have the willpower to get to the gym or exercise daily......" I hear this a lot in my field of work and I will be completely honest with you - I don't have the 'willpower' either.  Put chocolate in front of me and I will have more than my fair share, tell me there is chocolate in the fridge and I promise it won't stay there for much longer.  I don't have the 'willpower' to get out of bed on Sunday morning and train instead of sleeping in.  But what I do have is discipline and discipline is much easier to learn than willpower is to control.  Willpower will only get you so far in life. You certainly will need some willpower to achieve your goals (like resisting the chocolate bar at the servo when you absolutely must pass it to pay for your petrol) BUT to rely on willpower alone would be setting you up for almost imminent failure - a few learned disciplines however, will get you a long way.

Personally I feel my discipline was ingrained from a very young age - gymnastics is a very individual sport and I learned a great deal of discipline back then, it gave me a fantastic grounding for the life I lead today.  You may not have been lucky enough to learn disciplines from an early age and you may very well feel that your whole health and fitness quest is based upon your ability or strength to just resist and keep on resisting those things in life that keep holding you back - the chocolate, the wines or beers, the non exercise all the while telling yourself and others that you "just don't have the willpower".

I challenge you today to create some disciplines in your life - I have to be disciplined to finish one thing at once when I am working - I get very excited about new and shiny ideas but I have to pull my head in, focus, discipline myself and keep working toward and finishing off what I have started before moving onto the next thing.  Do you fall off the wagon every weekend?  Do you cave and order cake with your coffee right at the last minute but every time?  Do you regularly switch off your morning alarm, roll over and go back to sleep?

Ask yourself these questions?
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • Why do I want to achieve it?
  • How do I need to act in order to achieve it?
When you have figured out the what and why then think about the how - what learned disciplines do you need in your life to ensure you are working towards your goals at high speed?

Write down your disciplines, put the times and dates in your diary and then make it happen - you must treat you as number one - give yourself the energy and time that you deserve and reap the rewards.

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