Discipline is something that seems to be largely lacking in the training world today. As consumerism grows, more outlets for training programs, tools, supplements, gear, and social media "inspiration" are created on an almost daily basis. It's like fitness has become more about a market and less about developing a lifestyle based on the pursuit of excellence and personal growth.
With the constant creation and marketing of new products - and yes, diets and training programs are products - it's easy to see how an unwary trainee can fall into a continual cycle of consumption with minimal return. After all, the nature of selling is to create need. If a person believes and experiences they have all they need to succeed, then they really don't need your cool gear, supplements, or programs.
This past Christmas, my wife bought me this awesome banner from Jim Wendler's website.
It's a simple message - discipline over motivation. Motivation is fleeting - subjective to how you're feeling. Discipline will carry you through the ups and downs. Discipline is how you win.
That banner hangs in my gym. It's a powerful symbol and a reminder to do what's necessary - no matter what.
The trouble people have with discipline is that it has to be developed, and , generally, the way it gets developed is through doing what you need to, despite how you feel. Discipline is a constant action, a skill that - like a blade, must continually be honed lest it lose its edge.
That means that, to truly be successful, you can't exercise discipline just once or twice, but every time in order for it to start becoming a part of who you are. The sooner you get this, the sooner you'll start seeing success.
What I've noticed about people who don't get the discipline angle (at least in the training world), is that they get bedazzled easily and chase after the coolest, latest, flashiest fitness toys, gear, clothing, programs, resolutions, challenges, etc. believing within these things they'll find the keys to unlock their success. Disciplined people know and trust that continual, consistent execution of a good plan will bring results. It's good math.
Disciplined people understand that, while a solid program is needed, the execution of it is where the magic lies. They must put the time and effort in consistently with focus and attention to detail, giving their best every time, to truly get what they want.
My advice is to start today. Decide on a goal - one that's important to you - that means something. Make a realistic plan that you know you're capable of. If you need help through training or programming, than get it - any way that you can. Stick to your plan. Don't waver from it, or allow yourself to get distracted, and don't let yourself off the hook.
Get used to finding a way, and do what's needed. Draw a line in the sand, and watch your confidence and self belief grow, along with your strength, conditioning, and mental toughness
If you don't know how to start, or you need help, feel free to drop me a line. I'm here to help.
Eric Chasko is the head of Redemption. He is a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Underground Strength Coach, and Progressive Fighting Systems Full Instructor. From young athletes to busy professionals, he helps people develop the physical, mental, and emotional strength to win on the field, on the street, and in life.