I Missed my workout again…3 Proven ways to get Self disciplined

Christmas Abbott



I am writing this as a way to figure it out for myself, here is what I found and what has worked for most of the people I know….

Today, I was supposed to go to my Spartan Endurance training at 5.30am, and I woke up at 6am. I am really frustrated with myself for not being able to stick to my commitment and feeling bad for myself. So, Sat with my Laptop and Tea and started to ponder over how can I be more consistent, what do I need to do to motivate myself to accomplish the goals I set for myself?

Did an Introspection on myself and what had worked for me in the past? what were the triggers? what was the driving force for those goals? I can think of quite a number of things…so based on all the Information I learnt,and that I tested and worked in the past. here are my quick 3 realizations,


1. Its Self discipline and Not Motivation that we need for accomplishing a goal. 

Motivation makes us feel good, releases the endorphins that makes us feel good and happy, when we watch a movie/video/picture and it wades out after a while. Then, how can we have a consistent behavior to grow and progress towards our goals? Its Self discipline.

How can we get it? Here are some Ideas, according to

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, explains that habit behaviors are traced to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia – a portion of the brain associated with emotions, patterns, and memories. Decisions, on the other hand, are made in the prefrontal cortex, a completely different area. When a behavior becomes habit, we stop using our decision-making skills and instead function on auto-pilot. Therefore, breaking a bad habit and building a new habit not only requires us to make active decisions, it will feel wrong. Your brain will resist the change in favor of what it has been programmed to do. The solution? Embrace the wrong. Acknowledge that it will take a while for your new regime to feel right or good or natural. Keep chugging along. It will happen.

How do we apply this to our  practical problems? Say to form a new habit,

Run 3 times a week

Remove all temptations and distractions out of the way and remove all the little obstacles that can come in the way. Plan the previous night, what you are going to wear, what you will eat, how long would you need to do the foam rolling or for stretching? Have all the items necessary for the run next to you, so you don’t waste your will power in making all this trivial decisions in the morning. Now when you wake-up, the decision is already made and its in auto pilot. Some of the runners shared , they would name their treadmills, For example., you can name your treadmill Jessie or Sandra, whatever you want to call it and when you humanize it, we tend not to disappoint our friends. Today I didn’t show up to the meeting with Jessie:-(, so come up with your own and be creative.

Also checkout Jacko Willink’s Interview on Tim ferriss’s podcast The Scariest Navy Seal to learn more about gaining Self discipline.

2. Eat Healthy

Nothing new here, when we Eat healthy and natural foods, we can avoid the cravings. For ex., by eating fruits, research shows our body’s cravings for sugar reduces. Always, have healthy snacks with you, because when you are hungry the brain doesn’t get enough glucose and wont work at the optimal capacity. To learn more, check this Brain Fuel

3. Reward yourself

Self discipline is hard, have some ways to reward yourself. Working on Loosing weight, have a cheat meal on Saturday. Working on your Financial goals, reward yourself by buying little toy that makes you happy. Working on your Gym goals, reward yourself with a Massage once a week.

Also, be careful on not to go overboard, ran on the treadmill for 30 mts and going crazy through the weekend drinking and eating all the greasy food you can find :-(, not the ideal reward. Try to keep it to 1 Cheat meal a week, or decide what makes sense for you.

I love my Indian Dum Biryani, not the Ideal diet, so I have that as my reward once a week, in smaller portions.

Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go the way you want, the Anger, frustration and disappointment are all normal, don’t dwell on it too long. Get back on it it ASAP, the longer you stay away from your game, much harder it  is to get back on the rhythm of things.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, let me get back on my saddle now for my missed workout today:-), these are some Ideas that worked for me. What are some of yours? Whatever it is, Please share and I am eager to learn.

Have a wonderful day!!!


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3 Things I Learnt by doing the Spartan Super in Diablo Grande, CA

  1. A Group of Strangers united and motivated by a common purpose, can push and help each other acheive Great New heights

(pun intended, ~2000′ Elevation in ~100 degree F, with almost No shade)


Started running a year ago, 2 miles at a time, then progressed to doing 5ks, 1Ok, Half Marathaons and did 2 Marathons this year. Recently started in Obstacle racing(Spartan races) and really got hooked, did the Spartan Sprint in May 14th this year and couple weeks ago did the Spartan Super in Diablo Grande, CA. It’s very special and unique to me on various levels,

It challenged me than any other race I have ever done, why? May be I didnt train enough for a Hill,

racing in that temperature, or not anticipating the difficulty level. but what go me through that was the amazing camaraderie, the support and the energy of Spartans, kept me chugging along and I don’t think I can do that alone.


Lesson Learned: Power of a tribe driven by a common purpose is contagious and can achieve great heights(see 300, Spartans!!!!!:-))








2. Only under extreme circumstances, we realize what is really Important and start to appreciate the little things

Half way through the race, when we were carrying the 50lbs Sandbags up the Hill at > 100 degrees,

when the volunteers yelled, “just go up the hill and you will find the water station”. Hearing that, gave us all a new goal to work towards, at that Moment nothing else mattered, we forgot the pain, all we thought of was, lets climb up the hill and get to that water station, and that water tasted sooo good!!!

you ask anyone in that race, and they will all tell you, that felt like the Ultimate reward:-)

Its only under those extreme conditions, we realize and appreciate those things that we take it for granted.

Lesson Learned: Reframe your problem/challenge in the right context and all of a sudden it may not be that bad  as you thought and you will see what is really Important.




3. Opens up our mind and takes us to a different plane, where we can see new possibilities

After crossing that finish line, It felt like I have gotten stronger and things that I feared a few months ago,

is not out of reach and gave the confidence to explore 10X of what I have done so far and grateful to have

had that experience.

 Lesson Learnt: Do a tiny thing that makes you uncomfortable every day and by end of the month/year, you will

 be amazed at how far you have come from where you started a few months/year ago.


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