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Discipline Determines Your Destiny

Are there really any secrets to shedding unwanted body fat, getting fit, and improving your health? Some fitness gurus may not like to hear me say this but the answer is no. This isn’t to say there aren’t strategies that a knowledgeable and experienced coach can provide you, but real bona-fide secrets, nah not really.

It all comes down to finding out what works best for your body and then doing it consistently enough to see the results you want. Everyone’s looking for the magic bullet, that quick-fix to make things easy.

Let me ask you something, how many worthwhile goals or objectives have you ever achieved without sacrifice, focused effort, and discipline? I’ll bet if you’re honest with yourself you won’t be able to name much.

If there’s anything that really determines your success I’d say its discipline. This isn’t to discredit the importance and value of the right information, a solid plan, and visualization. These things are all extremely beneficial but let’s be real. If you’re not disciplined to take regular and consistent action, these things won’t mean much.

After all, nobody wished their way to a fit body, they worked their way to it. As with most things in life, discipline is the driving force behind repeating a certain set of actions that take you closer to your goals.

From a body transformation standpoint, it’s not about a genetic advantage, superior knowledge, or anything like that.

In the twenty plus years I’ve been coaching people on losing weight and getting in shape, the most successful individuals have always been the ones who were consistent.

They didn’t major in the minors or let little bumps in the road serve as obstacles to side-track them. They grasped the most important concepts and worked at them on a daily basis. When set-backs occur as they always will at some point in time, they chalked it up as part of this thing called life and kept pressing forward.

I really do believe it all comes down to priorities. If I’ve heard one excuse over the years I’ve heard a thousand. I guess this is human nature to some degree but the truth is most of them were…well excuses.

More often than not the truth is the desired goal or objective wasn’t high enough of a priority for that person at that specific point in time. And you know what…I won’t judge anyone for that. As a coach I’m here to simply provide instruction, encouragement, guidance, and accountability when fitness is a top priority in a person’s life.

Sometimes people aren’t ready for whatever reason. Sometimes things come up that take a higher priority and that’s just the way she goes. Personally, I think prioritizing anything over your health and wellness is a poor trade off though as that really is your most precious asset. Without your health what do you really have left?

Eating healthy and remaining physically active should be cornerstones for all of our lives. This isn’t the same as being super focused on a fitness or weight loss goal. I’m just talking about putting things in perspective from a big picture standpoint.

If you’re too busy to eat healthy or cut out a mere 30 minutes from your day to do some physical activity, I’ll suggest you revisit your priorities.

You may have to get up 30 minutes earlier, take some time to pack a healthy lunch or what have you. The point is it all comes down to what you put a priority on.

I learned the value of discipline at a very early age and I’ll be forever grateful for it. For those of us who were instilled with discipline at a young age we can thank our parents or whoever raised us. It’s something that has to be learned and developed.

I can remember being a kid and wanting to emulate my father. He always had a muscular build with broad shoulders and well developed arms. Of course I wanted to be like Dad so I’d ask him what should I do to put some muscle on my skinny frame. There wasn’t any discussion about secret techniques to do in the gym or anything like that. He told me to do things like push-ups and not shy away from hard work.

We spent our weekends on a farm so there was always work to be done like bailing hay, cutting wood, or what have you. The simple lesson I learned was that hard work held the key. Interestingly, I found myself wanting to lift the heavy logs or bales of hay because I knew that would help me get stronger and put on more muscle.

Doing push-ups on a daily basis became an easy habit to stay disciplined with because the end outcome was clear to me. Naturally I put a priority on it because I wanted what the work and effort could give me.

I hope that you’re getting the golden nugget in all of this. My father didn’t push me to do these things because he thought that’s what I should do. He saw that I wanted something and took the opportunity to teach me the value of discipline and hard work to get it. This was a lesson that sank in and it carried over to other aspects of my life. If you want something bad enough you apply discipline and hard work to get it.

If you’re reading this Dad, I can’t ever thank you enough. How many times today do we see parents shying away from teaching discipline to their children out of a desire to be their best friend? How well is this really working? I don’t believe a parent’s job is to be their child’s best friend, but rather prepare them to live a meaningful life as an adult.

In the real word you don’t get something for nothing. If you want something you have to work hard for it.

Far too often we think of discipline as being synonymous with punishment. It’s really not. Discipline can certainly be about accepting responsibility and consequences for our actions be it good or bad. It’s not cruel or harsh to teach that there are consequences for our actions. When you do X, Y happens and vice versa. It applies to all areas of our life at any age. If we don’t get this reality it only leads to resentment, confusion, and perpetuates the habit of making excuses.

Seriously, think about it for a second.

Discipline in your life on all levels brings order, focus, and ultimately a sense of purpose and direction. A lack of discipline leads to the exact opposite.

You go through life one day at a time wanting more but never really focusing on one thing long enough to see it bear fruit. Punch the clock, do what you have to do, and pray for the weekend to come. To me this is no way to live.

We need something to strive for, a target for our brain. What do you really want? What will it take to accomplish those goals? Getting clarity with these questions is the first step. After that it all comes down to taking consistent and repeatable action steps. This is where discipline comes into play. You know that it will take sacrifice, commitment, and work. It’s part of the game. The question is do you want “X” bad enough to do what it takes to get it?

It’s important to remember life isn’t always fair. We look around and see the person getting a lucky break or seemingly applying little effort to get what you want. It happens, so what. Don’t get bogged down when you see these things. It only leads to envy, frustration, and excuses. Put your head down and get back to work. Focus on what you have control of and leave the rest to the good Lord.

Sometimes things take longer, there may be more obstacles to overcome than you had planned, etc. Don’t let these things side-track you from your focus and effort. Anything worthwhile achieving will require hard work and discipline Believe in yourself and your ability to make it happen!

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. Personal training in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation using 30 minute burst training workouts and Primal Blueprint nutrition strategies. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself today.

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