I grew up very skinny and was thin most of my life. However 2 children and turning 40 put an end to that. Now I am overweight and having trouble loosing it. I am good about eating right during the day but come 10:00 in the evening and this eating monster comes out and I look to devour everything in the house. Cookies, Ice Cream, Cake, I am not selective, as long as it has sugar in it. Many times the morning comes (and regret sinks in) and I find I finished a pint of ice cream. My kids are appalled, usually because it is their favorite flavor. I keep thinking there is something that can help me stop. Maybe hypnosis, a new diet, weight watchers. However no matter what I try nothing seems to work. I know what the answer is. I avoid the obvious truth. That is I just need to say no. When the witching hour comes I have to stop myself and not give in. (Do you think handcuffing my self to the wall might help?).
Yesterday my teenage daughter made a plate of chocolate chip cookies. You know the kind. The ones that are soft and gooey with tons of chocolate chips. But, as I said I am trying really hard to just say no. Each time I passed that plate of cookies I thought, well maybe just one. But, I know me, just one cookie will turn into just two, and then just three, till I finish the plate. So I just said no and every time I did I visualized my goal of being thin. I focused on seeing myself at my goal weight, and I never ate the cookie.
In the beginning of any new action you want to take there is a certain amount of self discipline that goes into turning a plan into a consistent action. Whatever you want to undertake at work or in your life, maybe it is always being on time.starting an exercise program or even deciding you are not going to partake in water cooler gossip, you will need self discipline. The first 1, 2, or 21 times you will have to make a conscious decision that you are going to do this, or not do this, as hard as it may be. And then follow through. There is the belief that it takes 21 days of doing something for it to be a habit.
That is the magic of self discipline. If you know what your goal is and you consistently take action steps to getting there you will most definitely arrive. So if you think that promotion is impossible or the job you want is out of your reach figure out what steps you need to take to get there and by doing these steps you will surely get your hearts desire. The magic is in doing the steps even when you are tired, discouraged, or just plain don't want to. Yet, you just do it one step at a time and sure enough you reach your goal. As I think about the concept of self discipline I realize how much it effects every area of my life. If I do the things I promise myself to do then I exhibit great self discipline. Then the chance of achieving my goals are greatly enhanced. If I don?t then of course the chances are slim to none that I will ever come close to getting the life I want. It makes sense that I would stay the course and continue to be focused on my tasks and do what I have to.
In that case why don?t I always follow through. Well for one thing instant gratification is very seductive. Why wait for results which might take weeks, months, or maybe years to see when you can enjoy what you want right now. For example losing weight takes a while but eating a cookie gives you pleasure in the moment. If you knew that not eating the cookie you would lose the weight by tomorrow you wouldn?t eat the cookie. However you know that you have to not eat many cookies and it will probably take months for you to arrive at your goal weight. That is the challenge. Being able to delay immediate gratification with the knowledge that if you do ultimately you will arrive at your goal. Let's use another example such as saving for your retirement. Wouldn?t it be more fun to go out to a show and dinner than to put money into your retirement fund. Than again you still want to have some fun now.
Maybe the answer is not to totally delay your enjoyment but to find it now by planning for yourself some of what you want and also to do your saving, dieting, or whatever also. This way you don?t feel deprived, but yet move towards your goal. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can have your cake and eat it too! This may also be a key to achieving self discipline. Ultimately exercising self discipline is the magic that one must use in order to achieve your goals.
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