Have you ever wanted to change something in your life and thought, ‘if only I were more disciplined I could achieve that’?
Or maybe you’re a bit harsher on yourself and end up in a spiral of negative chat in your mind, beating yourself up for not doing the things that you know will help your health.
Or maybe you look at someone else who has achieved those things, comparing yourself to them and think that ‘it’s okay for them’ because they have more discipline.
Well, I have some good news for you. Discipline is a myth!
You see, in order to be disciplined, it takes willpower, and willpower is a finite resource. No matter who you are, it will run out eventually.
We have all experienced the buzz of a new diet or training regime, full of willpower, only for it to slowly dwindle out, the smoothie maker never being used and the trainers becoming relegated to the back of the cupboard.
So what isn’t finite? Is there something that can last the test of time?
Yes! It’s HABIT.
True habits are completely ingrained into your daily routine and you don’t have to think about them, therefore, they don’t use willpower! Hoorah!
And this is the dirty little secret that Discipline doesn’t want you to know, if you can just do something for long enough for it to become a habit, you will never need discipline again.
For some time there has been a phrase banded around that it takes 21 days to create a habit, but unfortunately, that has been shown to be untrue. Researchers are now saying it takes on average 66 days to create a habit, but some can take about 200 days. I think for most things, if you aim for 3 months you will be sorted 🙂
So this is great news, all you have to do is focus on doing The Thing for 3 months, then you’re set. No more willpower, no more disclipline, no more energy needed. Just plain old habit taking you along for the ride.
If you have been trying to start a new diet, or you want to be more flexible, or get back into running, at the beginning it is HARD. But if you can get yourself through the first 66 days and then a little bit more just to be sure, you’ll have it nailed.
Nothing is stopping you. No one is better than you. No one has more discipline than you. They just have better habits.