The Easy Way To Be Disciplined

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Are there ways to overcome self-sabotage and procrastination? Are there ways to be disciplined, without having to use willpower? What is the easy way to be disciplined?

My secret to discipline is; to not use any willpower. This means I don’t wrestle with my own mind, about whether to do something or not. If you are using willpower to stay disciplined, it may be time to step back and examine why you are really doing, what you are doing.

A goal with a strong enough purpose makes discipline easy. Real discipline comes from taking action that is in alignment with who you are and taking care of your needs. The reason self-sabotage exists, may be to guide you back to something authentic for you.

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In a healthy eating example, is the goal extrinsic or intrinsic? Extrinsic refers to an outer rewards, like gaining pleasure and losing weight. This type of goal requires willpower and may not last.

Intrinsic refers to an inner reward, like nurturing your body, or self-love. It is not possible to have constant pleasure and weight loss, every week. On the other hand, self-love is both the action and the reward. Focus on self-love and self-care and the results will follow.

“Focusing on intention rather than goals, may help you maintain discipline indefinitely.

I apply the use of intrinsic goals to my addiction process. Ideally, I want clients to avoid using willpower, wherever possible. We focus more on what they get, from their habit or addiction and how to satisfy that core need from a healthy source.

Telling someone their addition is bad doesn’t help them quit. Finding out what their needs are and how to satisfy them, is a surer path moving forward. You can apply this same reasoning to a habit you no longer desire. Examine what you get from the old behaviour and have those needs met from better sources.

I ask clients what the top 5 things are they are most dedicated to. Questions to determine this include where they spend their money, time and energy. Many people might say it is family, work, friends, nature and reading.

If they have a health goal, we can see that ‘health’ didn’t even appear in their top 5. In this case it may require willpower to work on health, because it is less important than other values. They can link the importance of being healthy, to their family and career.

On bad days, it can be harder to stay motivated. At this time don’t turn to unhealthy habits, drink wine, or self-sabotage. Use stress as a signal to look after yourself more! You can turn self-sabotage around 180 degrees!

On bad days, take more positive action, not less! Breathe deeper, hydrate more, eat better food, exercise your body, be still and take 3-5 positive actions each day. In 1 year you will have taken over 1000 positive actions towards the health outcomes you want.

Remember, the next time you are using willpower to stay disciplined, ask yourself, what is the purpose here? Is this habit making me better or worse? 

In Review:

  • Examine what you truly need in life.
  • Let go of things that don’t match your authentic self.
  • On bad days look after your mind and body more, not less.
  • Don’t use willpower to change any habit… search inside for a real purpose.
  • Intrinsic goals are lasting and don’t rely on merely gaining pleasure and avoiding pain.


Jeremy Walker works as a Hypnotherapist and Demartini Method Facilitator in Brisbane QLD. He enjoys nothing better than seeing someone gain self-mastery in their life. Jeremy focuses on helping people with; addictions, alcohol reduction, quitting smoking, weight control and mind/body health. Book an appointment 


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