What do you think of when you hear the word “discipline”? Does it conjure up images of “getting in trouble” or controlling behavior by means of punishment? For a lot of people, the word has a …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 128, of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners and today, discipline does not mean punishment. So let me ask you this. What do you think of when you hear the word discipline? Does it conjure up images of like getting in trouble, or controlling behavior by way of punishment?
For a lot of people, the word discipline has a very negative connotation. And they don’t want any type of discipline in their life at all. But discipline is not always a bad thing. In fact, having more discipline in your life, might actually be one of the best things you can do for yourself for your overall health and happiness as a human being.
So today, I’m going to share why discipline does not mean punishment, and explain the surprising benefits of creating a more disciplined life. First, I want to talk a little bit about what’s going on over in the coaching project.
So the coaching project is my coaching program, where you get group coaching, one on one coaching, and it’s a program that is designed to give you all of the knowledge and the support, and provide accountability for you to reach your personal health and fitness goals, whatever that might look like for you. And every month during our group calls. So we do a couple of group calls every week.
And on one of those group calls every week, I do some teaching and some coaching on a topic. And for the month of June, we’re talking about mastering your mindset. What is your mindset? And why is your mindset so important to achieving the goals that you want for yourself. And today’s topic on the podcast, they were talking about discipline is one of those mindsets that are one of those components of mindset that is required.
If you want to achieve big things for yourself, if you’re the kind of person who wants to get leaner, get stronger, run faster, run longer. All of these things require you to have the right mindset because it’s one thing to know what to do. And it’s a whole nother thing, to motivate yourself to do it, to be disciplined to do those things that maybe you don’t want to do sometimes, in order to get the stuff that you really want for yourself in order to become the person that you want to become.
So all month long, we’re going to be talking about different aspects of mindset. This week was all about the topic I’m talking about today, which is, you know, creating more discipline in your life. We’re going to be talking about stopping self sabotage, building mental toughness, creating permanent habit change, becoming an emotional badass. All of these things require a shift in your mindset. And the mindset is the foundation for everything that you want for yourself.
Okay, so if you’re ready to become more, if you’re ready to take your health, and your fitness and your mindset to the next level, then you’re ready for the Running Lean Coaching Project. And it’s an application program you got to apply for. You’re going to have a short conversation with me, we’ll see if this is a good fit for you. And if so then I want to invite you to apply to the Running Lean Coaching Project and you can just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply, fill out a short application, schedule a call with me we’ll talk about your goals and we’ll just see if this is a good fit for you; runningleancoaching.com/apply. I would love to have you join us in the Running Lean Coaching Project.
All right now on to today’s topic, which is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while here. And I was talking to a friend recently about the difference between having a disciplined life and an undisciplined life. And something that came up was that there’s a lot of people out there that have this really negative connotation of the word discipline.
And you know, when we talk about that word, when you hear that word, think about this, like, what? What images come up for you? What comes up for you when you hear the word discipline. So there’s a couple of different definitions of, of discipline, and one that I think a lot of us think about is the practice of training people to obey rules, or a code of behavior, using punishment, to correct disobedience, right.
So a lot of people think of discipline as disciplining a child, for bad behavior. And this was a big part of my childhood. I got in trouble a lot, as a child, especially in school with my parents, I was a bit of a rebel. And I just did things the way I wanted to do things, and I didn’t do things I was supposed to do, and whatever you want to call it, I was a bit of a rebel, I was a bit of a troublemaker, and I was getting in trouble a lot. I was punished a lot. I was disciplined a lot as a child.
And so for me, for a big part of my life, the idea of having more discipline in my life was like, oh, heck, no, no, thank you, that is not what I want at all, I don’t want more of that. I finally got away from all that, you know, I grew up and became a dad, I had my own family, and you know, I was an adult and all these things, you know, that supposedly make us, you know, autonomous creatures, and have sovereignty and agency over our own lives.
And, but then even at work, I would get punished for, you know, maybe showing up late or something like that, you know, so it was still kind of following me around. And I was like, well, geez, I don’t want discipline in my life, I don’t want to be disciplined. And so for a lot of us, we have that connotation.
Or maybe you’re trying to train a puppy. And so a lot of times we use discipline to train a puppy, we punish the puppy if they pee on the rug, or whatever, you know. So I want to just acknowledge that a lot of us have this idea of what it means to live a disciplined life or to have discipline in our lives. And it’s not necessarily a positive, you know, content doesn’t bring up positive thoughts and feelings, you know, it’s a, it’s a very negative thing. So there’s another definition of discipline that I have adopted into my life and really accepted as part of who I am. That has, for me, nothing but positive connotations.
Okay, so the other definition of the word discipline is to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way. This I love because I practice discipline, in all areas of my life. I train myself to do things in a controlled and habitual way. That doesn’t mean I’m a robot, you know, it doesn’t mean I live in this weird little, you know, confined bubble or whatever.
But I do things very intentionally, in a controlled and habitual way. And I learn habits, and I create good habits for myself. And for me, this definition of discipline feels good. It’s something that I can, you know, try on and say, Yeah, I want discipline in my life, because discipline gets me the good stuff that I want in my life.
Discipline is a way of training myself, to create good habits. It does require some level of structure and some level of control over yourself. And it creates and it requires creating good habits. But it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. We don’t have to look at being disciplined in our life or having discipline in our life as a negative. We don’t have to look at it as being a punishment.
I live a pretty disciplined life. So most days, I go to bed around the same time, you know, pretty early, I would say for some people, I don’t know, maybe it’s late for others. I get up at the same time every day. I have a consistent morning routine. I do some journaling and some meditation and drink some coffee.
I start my day in a very intentional way. And then I work out I run or I hit the gym and or go to yoga class or something, I have a very structured morning, you know, I have a very structured day most days. And then my work schedule is very structured. In order for me to create the kind of business that I’ve created the business model where I’m coaching people all day long, I have to have a pretty detailed amount of structure, a pretty significant amount of structure in my calendar.
And everything I do has to be on my calendar. And I’m very disciplined about sticking to that schedule, it’s important for me, it helps me to create the kind of life that I want for myself. So having some structure and some discipline, in certain areas of my life, helps me to achieve the things that I want for myself, you know, I want to build and grow my business, I want to make an impact on this world.
I want to create more good health and more positivity, I want to get people off of junk food, I want to get people off of, you know, being you know, inactive, I want to get people stronger and more fit, I want to help people, you know, with their nutrition and with strength and endurance and with their mindset. And in order for me to do that, in order for me to make a big impact in this world, I have to be pretty structured and pretty disciplined about how I show up for you and how I show up for myself and how I show up for my business.
This requires discipline, I’m disciplined about my food choices. And about my diet, I eat a lot of the same things pretty often. I mean, I do mix it up here and there. But for the most part, I’m pretty structured and disciplined about how I eat, it’s important to me. And it’s not a struggle, this isn’t a punishment, it’s not a punishment, eat real food. For me every day, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something because I’m not eating burgers and french fries all the time. And you know, chocolate cake and ice cream and all the things that I used to do.
I used to eat a lot of pizza, a lot of ice cream. And I don’t do that anymore. But it doesn’t feel like I’m being disciplined or like I’m being punished. I’m intentional about having this kind of discipline in my life, in these areas of my life. Being disciplined has helped me to create massive change in my life. And it allows me to achieve everything that I want for myself. I have big goals that I set for myself, I want to become more.
I’m always growing as a human being, I’m always evolving as a person, I want my health and fitness to always get better, not worse. And for me, it requires me to be disciplined in some areas of my life, it requires me to be disciplined about how often I do strength training and how often I run and how I, you know, schedule my meals and things like that.
You know, for me, a few years ago, when I finally permanently lost the weight that I had gained over the previous five years or whatever. It requires some discipline for me to lose that weight. It required me creating discipline in my life, around my diet and exercise regimens. And now, having some amount of discipline in that area allows me to maintain my weight effortlessly, effortlessly.
It’s easy, because I’ve created that level of discipline. I’ve improved my running performance over the years. By being more disciplined, I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve got this big goal of changing my body composition. And I’m working on being more of a bodybuilder, if you will.
I don’t like that term, because it conjures up these images of these huge, giant people. That’s not what I’m trying to do. But I’m trying to become more muscular and change the way my body looks and feels and get a lot stronger. And I’m being very disciplined about how I do that. I have to be disciplined about how I structure my workouts, how often I’m lifting, the kinds of foods that I’m eating, I have to eat more food, I have to be more intentional about some supplements that I’m taking and things like that.
And all of these areas of my life are growing and becoming better and I’m improving in all these different areas of my life because I have discipline in my life. Okay, so you can see the difference here, right? It’s not punishment. It’s not that I’m beating myself up. It’s because I have this level of discipline that I am able to achieve these things that I want for myself. Okay. It doesn’t mean I’m battling with myself, you know, I’m not punishing myself.
I’m not in a battle with myself, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t have fun, too. So here’s a big misconception about having a disciplined life. A lot of people think that if you, oh, I don’t want discipline in my life, because I still want to have fun, guess what you can do both. It’s not a one or the other. In fact, I believe that having discipline in my life allows me the freedom to also be in the flow sometimes, and to have playfulness in my life, and to have unstructured time in my life and to have fun in my life.
Having some discipline gives me the freedom to just at other times to just do what I want. If I was always super undisciplined, if I was just always going with the flow, I don’t think I would be able to achieve a whole lot from a success level like with my business with my health and fitness. And so for me, like just being totally undisciplined wouldn’t get me there. Maybe that works for you. Maybe that works for some people. But for me, I have to have some structure and some discipline in some areas part of the time.
So think about it as a balance in our lives, right? Having discipline is how I achieve my goals. That’s how I become more. It’s how I grow and evolve. Also, being undisciplined some of the time is how I grow and evolve to it’s like, you kind of need both, right? So you need some level of unstructured playtime, I think, playfulness, and spontaneity, and just silliness and laughter and fun and craziness.
All this stuff is like so important, and really required. If you want to be a well rounded, healthy, happy human being, we have to have expressive free playtime. And we don’t do it as adults, we don’t, we don’t make that a priority as adults. And I’m going to tell you here, and you might be kind of surprised to hear me talking about this. But I’m telling you right now that just goofing around, and having total joyful, playful, fun is necessary to having a joyful life.
If you want to have an incredibly fulfilling life, you’ve got to include playfulness in there, it has to be part of it. So being disciplined does not mean punishment, it does not mean you never have fun in your life. It’s just you structure some parts of your life and then other parts of your life can be completely unstructured. Doesn’t that sound better than just being punished all the time? Or having a disciplined life 24/7, 365? I don’t want that. I don’t want that.
So here’s what I want you to do this week, I just want you to consider yourself, consider your own life. Think about those things that you want for yourself. What do you want for yourself? Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to run faster? Do you want to lose some weight? Do you want to just get fitter? Change your body composition? What is it you want for yourself? And then think about that word discipline? How does it make you feel?
Could you use a little more discipline in your life? So if there’s things that you want for yourself, but you’re having a hard time getting them or you don’t have them? What’s it going to take to get you there? How much discipline? Do you think you’ll need to get there? Can you start applying some discipline into that area of your life in order to get you there? Can you be more disciplined at times? And then the flip side of that is? Where are you? Where are you making time for playfulness? Are you making time to just have fun and let loose and let your hair down? And just go crazy?
Dance like no one is watching. You know, can you make time for that to be undisciplined? Can you have that balance? Can you achieve what you want and have time to just goof around? Like, can we have this kind of balance? Or if the answer is yes, but I want you to think about this for yourself, how can you apply this? How can you make this happen for yourself, right? And it’s not about it’s not about one or the other. It’s about both. It’s about how we can do both. You know if you’re too disciplined all the time, it can feel hard and stressful and create anxiety in you.
Being too undisciplined on the other hand can have the same effect. You’re not getting things done that are important to you, you kind of stay stuck where you are. This can create a lot of stress and anxiety as well. So I think it’s important that we have both in our lives. So think about that this week, and what would that look like for you? And I want to take back the meaning of the word discipline, I want to take back the negative power that this word has over us.
And I want to remove the negative connotations that the word discipline has in our lives, right? It doesn’t mean punishment, I want to adopt this new definition, I want you to start using it in this way of like, okay, the the word discipline for me means to create healthy, productive habits that helped me become more, that’s what I want to, I want this word to mean going forward.
Okay, so consider how you can be more disciplined in some areas of your life to get the things that you want for yourself, and how you can balance that with complete undisciplined parts of your life so you can have fun and make that room for flow and playfulness. Okay.
And as always, if you want help implementing a more disciplined life, or implementing more playfulness in your life, or applying any of the principles that I talked about here on the podcast, I want to invite you to join us over on the Running Lean coaching project. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply. Love you all keep on Running Lean. I’ll talk to you soon.
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