How to Build Self Discipline for the New Year

by Evelyn Valdez

If you have a fitness resolution list for the new year, chances are that you’re really pumped and motivated to start as soon as possible. The thing is, if you actually want to achieve your goals and cross them off your resolutions list, you’re going to need more than just motivation – you’ll need self-discipline!

These two things might sound similar, but they’re not the same at all. While motivation is a fleeting sense of willingness to do something, self-discipline is the ability to pursue it without getting sidetracked or giving up. It’s about overcoming instead of just wanting, which is essential if you’re serious about your goals.

So, if you have any resolutions that you want to achieve in the new year, particularly fitness goals that definitely require some discipline and consistency, we’re here to help you make it with a few tips to build your self-discipline for a successful journey!

Identify your reasons why

Self-discipline is not the easiest thing to build, because it requires a lot of willingness to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve – so identify that first! It’s easier to work on being more disciplined when it’s towards a specific goal instead of just life in general. 

For example, instead of wanting to build self-discipline for all aspects of your life at once, you might want to start with your fitness life first. Self-discipline in fitness might look like never missing a workout despite feeling lazy on any given day or waking up early to work out because that’s when you have the time.

You might have diet-related goals such as wanting to eat healthier. Self-discipline in this aspect could look like meal planning and prepping to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients that you need or learning how to cook at home more often. Identify your main reason, and work towards that goal!

Work on your weaknesses first

While there are aspects of your life where you could build more self-discipline from scratch, it’s better to build a strong foundation first and work on your current weaknesses before you begin changing other things in your life.

A common weakness for active people is postponing their workouts because they don’t feel like going to the gym on a particular day. If you struggle with this, you can make it easier for yourself by having a home gym! You don’t need to leave your house when you can have a full workout with just a couple of dumbbells and a resistance band.

Or, you might enjoy going to the gym every day, but find it difficult to wake up in the morning because you keep hitting snooze on your alarm clock. If this is your weakness, try placing your alarm clock away from your bed. This will require you to actually get up and leave your bed to turn it off – then you can get ready for the day!

Focus on small victories

Having long-term goals is always a great way to keep growing and evolving, but it’s the smaller victories that will actually help you stay on track throughout your whole journey!

If it takes you too long to feel a sense of achievement in between goals, try setting up smaller goals, also known as micro goals, so that you can keep track of your progress and be aware of what you’re doing right or what you might need to change. These goals can be weekly or even daily, your choice!

An example of a micro goal could be losing 1-2 pounds per week if you’re on a weight loss journey, walking for at least 15 minutes a day if you’re trying to improve your cardiovascular health and resistance, or training your strength a minimum of four times a week if getting stronger is your goal.

Any goal counts as long as you feel accomplished when achieving it, so take a moment to analyze your long-term goals and divide them into smaller ones!

Set your environment up for success

While building self-discipline requires a lot of work, it can be even harder if your environment doesn’t cooperate with you. What we mean by this is – you can help future you by eliminating obstacles and setting up your environment for success!

Take a minute to analyze the spaces you’re frequently in, such as your kitchen and your home gym for example. You can make self-discipline easier for yourself by organizing your kitchen and placing healthy foods at the front of your pantry and fridge so that when you go back to grab a snack, you see nutrient-rich options first.

As for your home gym, you can always make sure that everything’s tidy after every workout. If you leave a mess behind, going in the next day and seeing everything disorganized might make you not want to do anything in the first place. You can also keep clean workout clothes in there to make changing easier!

Learn how to say “no”

This is probably the hardest part of building your self-discipline because it involves going against what you want at the moment and sacrificing fleeting moments of pleasure to prioritize what you want in the long run instead.

Learning how to say “no” is even more difficult when it comes to things that you are used to doing, such as ordering food every single day. If it’s hard for you to stay away from food delivery apps but you’re serious about losing weight this year, you can try to lower the number of times that you order a week, such as going from 6-7 to just 2 or 3.

Every change you make should be done gradually so you have time to adapt to your new routine. Little by little, all these sacrifices will help you improve your self-discipline while getting rid of your bad habits at the same time – you just need to remember those reasons why that we mentioned earlier!

Create a reward system

Last but not least, if you want to make sure your road to self-discipline is enjoyable, make sure to reward yourself from time to time. If nothing else, rewards can be a valid reason to keep going!

Rewarding yourself with a nice massage session after a couple of weeks of working hard at the gym is a great way to help you stay on track with your fitness, for example. You can set up a reward system to go along with your micro goals, just make sure to do it moderately and don’t choose a reward that will set you back!

The key to having a reward system is that it should be just that: a reward. Don’t go overboard with it, and only use the reward system to give yourself a little break after working hard to reach your goals. It’s a great way to give yourself some recognition every once in a while, so make sure to reward yourself during your journey.

Build your self-discipline for a better fitness journey

Nothing like the beginning of a new year to make some necessary changes in your life, and if you start by practicing self-discipline then you’ll already be one step closer to any goal you set for yourself. This way you won’t have to rely on motivation and you’ll finish the year with everything crossed off your resolutions list!

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We're UPPPER Fitness Gear – the place to get all your fitness needs! Founded by Iulia Danilova (Fit With Iulia), we strive to make fitness gear that is high-quality, durable, comfortable, stylish, and most importantly, designed to help take your workouts to the next level. 

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