Self–discipline is a person’s ability to keep their emotions, desires, and behavior under control. All goals related to training and fitness require self-discipline and willingness to postpone immediate gratification for the sake of a larger and more meaningful return in the future. Unfortunately, these skills rarely come by themselves as they directly contradict people’s nature. Building self-discipline for fitness and life requires acceptance, motivation, optimization of the working environment, and a gradual transition from simple to more complex goals and objectives.
The first pillar of self-discipline is approval or acceptance. This means that a person perceives reality and consciously acknowledges what he or she sees. Without a real assessment of one’s abilities, a person cannot set adequate goals and can even less fulfill them. Both too positive too negative attitudes are fraught with consequences. Every sport starts with determining the current physical conditions for a person to understand how to train effectively. Without this, he or she runs the risk of getting trauma or doing too little to have any meaningful effect. In life, as well, it is important to be aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if a person is used to getting up late, it would be unwise to plan activities for early morning when he or she is half-asleep.
The basis of self–discipline is motivation. It is created by seeing where to move and why. So, to develop self-discipline, one needs to define his or her goals for the day, week, month, and year. Another important factor is to determine how these goals serve to approach the desired end and why their fulfillment is necessary. By developing a step-by-step plan, a person sees how each goal complements the others and how all together they lead to the desired outcome.
Another necessary step is to reduce stress and fatigue which undermine a person’s ability to work hard. Many coaches believe that intensive training is most effective against the background of a calm, measured life. Stressful environments upset a person’s peace of mind and he or she becomes focused on the problems instead of giving his or her attention to training. Therefore, it is essential to optimize one’s working environment and establish a sound work-life balance that would allow a person to reduce aggravating factors.
Self-discipline is not an innate trait of a person’s character. This is a habit that one can and should develop and strengthen daily through a gradual transition from simple to more complex goals and objectives. In fitness, a person starts with relatively simple exercises to gradually enhance the workload and intensity of physical training. The principle of gradual increase in the complexity of tasks can also be applied to life when a person gradually transforms his or her habits to meet the intermediate or end objectives. Thus, for example, a person fighting obesity may first give up eating sugar, then fats, and finally adopt a protein diet most conducive to losing weight.
Self-discipline cannot be developed without self-control. Only when a person controls his emotions, he or she can make informed decisions, and move towards achieving the goal. The development of self–discipline is based on the principles of stress reduction, optimization of the working and training environment, and the achievement of daily results that should necessarily be made more complex on the path to achieving the end goals.