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by Tony Gjokaj January 11, 2024 4 min read

Navigating through the challenges of depression can be a difficult journey for many.

In the quest for mental well-being, you know that exercise is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal.

However there will be days where you're not motivated... and only with carefully crafted discipline, can we do what we need to do when we aren't motivated to do it.

What exactly is discipline, and how can we use it on our journey?

In this blog post, we will explore the essence of discipline and delve into five effective ways to cultivate this invaluable trait.

Let's dive in!

What Is Discipline?

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories. ” – Plato

Discipline is more than just a set of rules or restrictions.

At its core, discipline is a mindset and a set of habits that empower individuals to stay focused on their objectives despite challenges and distractions.

For those grappling with depression, discipline is the bedrock upon which mental strength is built.

Embracing discipline means taking charge of your mental well-being through intentional actions.

It involves making consistent choices that align with long-term goals, even when faced with short-term temptations or difficulties.

Discipline is you deciding that excessive drinking no longer meets your goals in life, so you will drink less frequently or stop it completely.

Discipline is you realizing that in building your body and mind and setting goals to achieve that, you will gravitate towards eating more nutritious meals.



5 Ways To Cultivate Discipline

1. Set Clear Goals

The foundation of discipline lies in having a clear understanding of your objectives.

Define your short-term and long-term goals with precision.

Break them down into manageable tasks and create a roadmap for achieving them.

When your goals are well-defined, it becomes easier to stay disciplined and focused on the steps required to reach them.

Regularly revisit and reassess your goals to ensure they align with your evolving aspirations.

You need to go beyond "I want to lose 50lbs this year".

Do you have a time limit on this? 1% of bodyweight lost per week is a healthy way to keep it off and it's easy to do. Anything beyond this can be difficult to maintain.

What happens if you make a mistake? Incorporate times to indulge into your routine. A "free meal" once or twice per week is a good reward.

What if you need a short break from the diet? How will you get back on track here?

How are you going to keep it off?Being 50lbs lighter and keeping it off requires a lifestyle change.

Build clear actions you can do consistently that aren't too hard or overwhelming.

2. Develop Consistent Habits

Habits are the building blocks of discipline.

Establishing consistent, positive habits helps to automate decision-making processes, reducing the mental effort required to stay disciplined.

Identify the habits that contribute to your goals and integrate them into your daily routine.

Whether it's waking up early, exercising, or dedicating time to skill development, consistent habits reinforce discipline over time.

Consistent habits are created with simple daily actions or micro-goals you do.

It can be committing to 10-15 minutes per day of physical activity.

Eventually, you will find that you can commit to 15 more minutes.

Start at the 10-15 minutes daily, then work up from there.

This is how habits are built.

Small progress IS progress.

3. Prioritize Time Management

Disciplined individuals understand the value of time and prioritize their activities accordingly.

Develop effective time management skills by creating a daily schedule, setting deadlines, and minimizing time-wasting activities.

Prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency.

By managing your time effectively, you create a structured environment that supports disciplined behavior and helps you make the most of each day.

I set Google Calendars and notifications on my phone to remind me an hour before my workout sessions that I have to get into the gym.

I also do this one hour before bed to prepare for sleep.

If you need to do this with scheduling your meals throughout the day, do so.

Whatever it takes to prioritize your goals.

4. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity

Discipline is not synonymous with perfection.

It involves acknowledging that setbacks and failures are inevitable parts of the journey.

Instead of letting failures deter you, view them as valuable learning experiences.

Analyze what went wrong, adjust your approach, and use each setback as an opportunity to grow stronger.

The ability to bounce back from failure is a hallmark of a disciplined mindset.

In my decade of consistent exercise, I have failed more times than I can count.

What has helped me is a 3-Strike Rule: I can mess up for one or two days in a row and get back on track.

If I mess up 3 days in a row, I will have to think about why I can't commit to it, and what actions or adjustments will I need to make to be consistent or better.

Sometimes it's just changing the part of your day you workout.

Other times it's just changing the monotonous workout routine or nutrition plan a bit.

5. Cultivate Self-Control

Self-discipline is closely linked to self-control.

Practice mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and impulses.

Develop the ability to resist immediate gratification in favor of long-term benefits.

Whether it's avoiding procrastination, making healthy choices, or managing impulses, cultivating self-control is essential for nurturing discipline.

Just like a workout or nutrition journal, journaling your thoughts allows you to realize more about yourself.

Consider also reading philosophical books or listening to podcasts on self-awareness as well.

Discipline Is In Your Hands.

Discipline is not a one-size-fits-all concept; it is a personalized journey that requires continuous effort and self-reflection.

By setting clear goals, establishing consistent habits, managing your time effectively, embracing failure as a learning opportunity, and cultivating self-control, you can develop a strong and resilient mindset.

In doing so, you pave the way for personal growth, success, and a more fulfilling life.

Thanks for reading, now go out and slay your depression demons!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help millions exercise their way out of depression and anxiety.

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