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Improving Self-Discipline & How to Do Things You Don’t Want to Do – Part 1

“What do I do in those moments where I know what I should be doing but I just don’t want to do them? How do I get myself to do the things I don’t want to do?” These are some of the most common questions I get asked – specifically as it relates to working out. So I’m going to do a little mini-series over the next few days on exactly what to do in those moments.

Strategy #1 – Remind yourself that it’s the thinking that is the hard part

Whenever we are faced with a decision to make there are 2 different types of energy being expended in that decision.

The first is the one that we all think of and that is the Physical Energy required to execute that decision. For example when it comes time to go to the gym we often say to ourselves “do I feel like working out right now?” Usually the answer to that question is no.

However, what we have inferred from working with Ultra-Performers is that there is another type of energy expended in our decision making and that is Emotional Energy.

There is Emotional Energy expended in simply making the decision. In fact, the Emotional Energy of making the decision is very often much greater than the Physical Energy required to execute the decision!

For example, it’s not getting ourselves onto the treadmill once we’re at the gym that is the hard part. It’s when we’re sitting on the couch deciding, whether or not we should even go.

So strategy #1 is to remind yourself that it’s the thinking that is the hard part. The Emotional Energy of making the decision often clouds the Physical Energy that is really there. You’ll find once you get yourself to the gym that the Physical Energy will magically show up.

You might even play the game of “just get myself to the gym and then I’ll decide whether or not to workout once I’m there”. Typically you’ll find that if you can get your butt over there it’ll be easy to get your butt moving!

  • Richard S

    Amen! Getting a train rolling is the hard part. Keeping a train rolling is easy.

  • rory_vaden

    Crazy how that works. But very true!

  • Seph

    Awesome stuff Roy,

    So glad to see that you’re also writing about self-discipline.
    It’s the main theme of my blog as well, so maybe you’d like to check it out sometime?

    Keep ’em coming!