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Why We Don’t Do What’s Good For Us And How To Get Out Of Our Own Way


There are so many reasons why we don’t always do what we know to be good for us. We might just not want to do it, we may even hate doing it (like budgeting) or we might be low on motivation and need to remind ourselves why we would benefit from doing it in the first place.


Yesterday I spoke of self-discipline being like a muscle, but if that’s true what exercises can we do to build up our self-discipline muscle? There are several strategies that can be used and to help you along the way here are my top five:


  1. Write down the top three benefits of doing the activity you are avoiding, make these benefits as compelling as possible.
  2. Visualise how great you will feel once it’s done.
  3. Take it in micro steps, for example when I run I focus on getting dressed, then getting my running app on, then just getting out the door rather than thinking about the entire run in advance.
  4. Take regular small breaks if the activity is involved and lengthy, this will preserve your energy and improve your focus on the task at hand.
  5. Reward yourself once the task is finished and make the reward proportional to the size of the task. For example, a hot chocolate for a run or a holiday for completing a post graduate study.


Do you have any tried and true strategies that have helped you develop a higher level of self-discipline? What are your top tips? Did you find these tips on building your self-discipline muscle helpful? Please share your thoughts with our community, I’d love to hear from you!

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