Add THIS tool to your weight loss toolkit

Today, we’re talking about the single most important tool you will use on your journey.

Can you guess what it is?

Your macros, meal prepping, workout plan – all add up to the results you desire. BUT they all come together thanks to this one mental tool you may not have considered up to this point.

Imagine a guy in his shed, looking around for the tools he needs to complete a project. I bet you’re thinking of a hammer, nails, a screwdriver… you get the point. But there’s a whole other set of tools – the mental kind. Working on his project will require patience, resilience, persistence. And most importantly, self-discipline. He needs the discipline to stick to the project until it’s complete.

The difference between self-discipline and motivation

Motivation is the fleeting feeling you get when something exciting is about to happen. Ever woke up well before you needed to because you were going on a fun trip that day? THAT is motivation.

Motivation is usually the reason behind you setting a goal. AKA, your motivation for changing your lifestyle is to lose weight, feel more energized, have your clothes fit better, etc. 

Motivation looks like meal prepping your little heart out for a week… then sliding back into old habits. Or maybe getting up to work out at the crack of dawn… for all of three days in a row.

The thing is these short outbursts of energy aren’t enough to create long-term change. Instead, you need to adapt your habits to sustain the change you want to see. Ie, three days of boring chicken and broccoli won’t be enough to hit your weight loss goal, but prioritizing nutrient-dense foods in the long run will bring progressive improvements.

How to develop self-discipline for weight loss

Motivation only gets you so far. When things start getting tough, self-discipline is the difference between giving in to the fun, exciting, and very temporary distractions and sticking to your plan to lose weight.

You’re always WELCOME to step away from the plan. But each time you do, you’ll forget a little bit about why you started. It’ll lose importance… and eventually, you’ll drop it entirely.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll forget about it. In fact, chances are you’ll spend years thinking about that half-finished project, and that’s where frustration, shame, and guilt come into play. These feelings arise because there’s a dissonance between what you want and what you do.

The secret to sticking to your plan to lose weight is to start from self-discipline rather than external motivation. Here’s how you do that:

First, find your why

If you want to stick to your plan, you need to know the REAL reason you’re even starting this plan. Dig deep behind the WHAT and figure out why this goal matters to you, and why it will bring you a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.

Second, think about the consequences

Ask yourself, what is at stake if you DON’T follow through on your goal? How will it negatively impact your life? How will you feel? What will you lose?

Third, make a PLAN

Just like your mindset is essential in weight loss (that is why at MYLF, we work to reframe your thoughts and help you be the CEO of your life), you also need an ACTIONABLE plan.

Knowing what you want isn’t enough. You need to prepare to achieve it. Everything from meal prepping to planning workouts in advance makes it easier to practice self-discipline and gets you closer to your weight loss goal. 

You can even prepare for things that seem outside of your control:

  • Going out to dinner? Look up the restaurant’s menu beforehand so you know what is a good option for you.
  • Have a busy weekend ahead? Squeeze in a walk or short workout before everyone is awake, or let them know you’ll excuse yourself for a half hour that afternoon.
  • Going on a road trip? Pack nutritious snacks you can grab on the go.

Fourth, work on self-accountability

One of the bigger reasons I see people not following through on their plans is embarrassment or discomfort in voicing their needs. Ie, they don’t want to “reject” their in-laws’ dinner, so they eat whatever is in front of them. Sounds familiar?

Holding yourself accountable means knowing that your choices align with the results you get. If you say you’re going to do X and you do Y, how do you think you will feel?

Fifth, let go of perfectionism

Hand in hand with accountability is perfectionism – I ate the thing, so what’s the point now? I’ll get back “on the wagon” tomorrow.

Holding yourself to a high standard is awesome, but you don’t need an all-or-nothing mentality. Just because you slipped a little bit doesn’t mean your day is entirely derailed. 

Instead, embrace the opportunity to recalibrate and make better choices each time. You’ll develop a stronger discipline as a result.

You are your most important project

No matter what outside factors come into play (and they will!), your project, the one ONLY you can finish, will still be there, unfinished, when you walk away. You’re here because you chose to work on yourself not because you dislike yourself – but because you love yourself and your body deserves that you honor it.

Tonight is no different than last night. The way your body sees it, weekends are just like any other day. The efforts you put in bring the results you will get out.

So, what choices will you make today that get you closer to your goals?

Stay STRONG. Be disciplined. Stick to the plan. And most of all, feel proud and honored to be working on your biggest project – you.

Love what you read?

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