What exactly does it mean to be disciplined? Does it mean simply doing the same things over and over again? On the surface, we may say yes. In this application, we could simply do something of a poor choice over and over again and say we are “disciplined” to do that particular thing. However, this is really only a poor habit. What we really need to do is to learn how to discipline ourselves with great fundamentals in order to develop great habits over a lifetime. That, my friends, is the beauty of discipline.
On that note, I have often been described as a “disciplined” person, but it hasn’t always been that way. I had to start somewhere, like everyone does. With that said, I believe it is very beneficial to lay out a few of the fundamental disciplines as they relate to our health. Without discipline, we do not have habits. Without habits, we cannot stick to anything, much less anything healthy. Lacking discipline, we find ourselves spinning around in utter chaos trying the newest diet fads, exercise routines or miracle supplement. If this is you right now, please keep reading as I will give you some simple discipline starters that are sure to get you moving in the right direction. These are very basic, but they guarantee solid foundation over time if followed.
1. Limit desserts to once per week. Make it a treat for yourself. Do not make it a regular occurrence. By inserting this discipline into your life, you will most certainly find yourself lessening the amount of toxic sugar in your body.
2. Drink at least 80–100 ounces of water daily. This will ensure you are well hydrated. It is also very important for the detoxification process. Start early by placing a full bottle of filtered water in your bathroom. You can start the hydration process upon awakening.
3. Consume a high protein breakfast. This can be easily achieved by utilizing a protein shake. Select a high quality protein (free from sugar, artificial sweeteners, non-denatured, non-GMO) for your shake if you decide to go that direction. Try to eat at least 30 grams of protein. This will help regulate your blood throughout the first part of the day.
4. Dedicate at least three days a week for physical activity. Pick an activity you enjoy, such as walking, exercising at the gym, tennis, bowling, yoga, etc. You are the CEO of your health. Schedule this meeting and do not miss it.
5. Opt for a green salad and a piece of protein at lunch. This can be easily accomplished at most restaurants. Select dark greens where possible and ask for the dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing before going for the salad—this will limit your consumption of high-calorie dressings.
6. Do not eat starches or fruits after 6:30 or 7 p.m. In other words, only eat protein and vegetables with your last meal. This will really help in regulating your blood sugar before you turn in for the night.
7. If you eat fried foods, limit them to once per week. Much like desserts, make this a treat if you choose. Beware though, you may find yourself feeling very poor if you have re-introduced these back into your diet after a 5–6 day hiatus.
8. Work hard to get 7–9 hours of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene by taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, “blacking” out the bedroom or simply enjoying some quiet time before getting into bed. Avoid suspenseful books, TV or loud music.
These eight disciplines are very basic, but thoroughly pour a foundation for your health success. Master these disciplines one by one. Revisit them often as you would basic fundamentals. Remember that these disciplines are the foundations for lifelong habits.
Know that you may not be perfectly successful when you begin. However, keep at it. No person is perfect. You may fall down from time to time, but winners keep getting up. And winners, as you know, are disciplined. Be encouraged, friends, on your journey to total wellness. Start slow and stay the course. Discipline can be yours—one day at a time.